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August 24th, 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 24 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 24 August 2017

Thanksgiving and prayer of blessing for ten people who recently graduated from the CPT training for peacemakers.

Let us give thanks for the ten wonderful people who successfully accomplished and graduated from the month-long intensive CPT Training for Peacemakers. Their peacemaking journeys will continue on various CPT teams and/or in their home communities around the world.

The training was a beautiful and deeply transforming experience and yet by no means easy. The experiential training sessions require presence and engagement of one's whole being and willingness to be transformed. The graduates experienced a number of difficult situations and processes both individually and growing together as a community. One person had to leave the training abruptly, another dealt with an unexpected painful health condition. The trainees were missing five other people who could not come due to oppressive visa policies or personal circumstances. And yet today we celebrate with ten peacemakers from Brazil, Uruguay, Czech republic, Germany, Canada and the U.S.A. who have successfully accomplished the training and will go forth into the world to practice and share what they had learned. As we pray, let us ask for blessing and divine guidance on their new ways, returns to home communities and transitions to new life and work with CPT.    

This was the 48th training that Christian Peacemaker Teams has organized and held during its 31 years of existence. Over 500 people have trained to join the organization and to strengthen their peacemaking skills. We are deeply grateful for everyone committed to this journey of peacemaking, for all who participate either in the trainings or in making them possible through numerous ways of support and accompaniment of prayer.

10 graduates of the CPT training in Chicago 2017

August 22nd

Help CPT Buy Bandanas

From a distance Trump's hats look similar to CPT's classic red hat, which has resulted in awkwardness, discomfort, and even insecurity for CPTers when wearing the red hat in certain situations.

In Canada, where CPT has been active in the anti-racism movement, CPTers were asked not to wear their red hats because they could be confused with the alt-right and cause fear among the people we are striving to stand in solidarity with.  

CPT needs an alternative.....

COLOMBIA: Threats against social leaders

CPTnet

22 August 2017

COLOMBIA: Threats against social leaders

by Marcos Knoblauch

In Barrancabermeja, paramilitary structures exercise direct and open territorial control. The inhabitants of this city witness how paramilitarism has infected the different spaces of the communes through selective assassinations and micro-trafficking. These illegal armed groups, acting as rulers, operate in the territory trying to perpetuate their control over illegal markets such as micro-trafficking.

We must not confuse ourselves: these groups should not be simply typecast as mere criminals. Paramilitaries are organized structures and, as such, support their activities outside the law based on systemic violence and the ineffectiveness of the State, and even with its complicity.

Chedhos

CREDHOS leaders have received repeatedly death threats. Photo: Marian DeCouto/CPT

In a national political context focused on post-agreements with the FARC, Barrancabermeja is the battle arena for the control of the various illegal groups. Whoever raises his or her voice against violence and in favour of human rights will be, in the eyes of these paramilitary groups, an objective on which they will discharge their violence.

August 18th

CPT UNITED STATES: Christian Peacemaker Teams supports clergy and community members in Charlottesville through trainings in nonviolent action

CPTnet
18 August 2017
CPT UNITED STATES: Christian Peacemaker Teams supports clergy and community members in Charlottesville through trainings in nonviolent action

by Sarah Thompson

On behalf of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) community, first and foremost we want to extend our condolences to the families of the victims of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Though Trump’s denouncement of the horrendous “Unite the Right” rally on 12 August 2017 was weak, the Charlottesville community’s response was very strong. From clergy to anti-fascist (Antifa) mobilizers to street medics to students, they all came together to confront the misdirected anger and brutalizing violence of the ultra-nationalist right wing—mostly young white men were in attendance—in the United States.

Already in July, the local clergy group knew they needed more reinforcement and training to prepare for the violence their city would experience at the hands of white supremacists on 12 August.

Banner portraying three women and inscription: "We all belong here. We will defend each other"                                                        Image from the online invitation to "Chicago Interfaith Service in Solidarity with Charlottesville"

August 16th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 16 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 16 August 2017

Pray for those who came together to stop hate in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Pray for the many activists groups that came together to stop hate in Charlottesville, Virginia on behalf of all of us. Pray that as they recover from the brutal day, they are able to find comfort and trust that the Eternal One is with them, even in these mysterious, deadly times. Pray that all those injured find healing, and that people of color and religious minorities--indigenous and immigrant, Jew, Buddhist and Muslim--find new allies in the face of continual onslaught of racist violence across the US South and the nation.

memorial Heather Heter

Photo credit: Vice News.

Psalm 73:23

I am always with You.
Though my heart is troubled and I’m filled with dread
I turn to face Your Mystery
Though I’ve been lost inside my head
I open to Eternity. 

August 15th

GREECE REFLECTION: Poems from the Brink of Despair; powerful voices of refugees in detention of Moria

CPTnet

August 15 2017

GREECE REFLECTION: Poems from the Brink of Despair; powerful voices of refugees in detention of Moria

compiled by: Annelies Klinefelter

The camps near Mytilene (the capital of Greek Lesbos island) are filling up because of the steady influx of people — between fifty and a hundred each day. Because of this, Greek authorities opened a new camp in the north of the island where most refugees have been arriving. In an effort to counteract this influx the authorities arrange weekly deportations and send around 8-15 people back to Turkey against their will. There is no love for the European Union-Turkey deal here. 

I talked with a number of refugees. They are desperate. One man was telling me about the growing numbers of self-inflicted mutilations and even suicides.

People come from all over the world to seek protection of the European Union: Iraq, Iran, Congo, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and many other places.

Tuesday 21 June, 2017 marked the commemoration of an International Refugee Day. On Lesbos, I participated in an event where the detained refugees from the Moria camp were allowed to speak. They read beautiful poems they had written that reflect their pains and send a powerful message to us all and the powers that be.

Lesvos Solidarity

Photo credit: http://www.lesvossolidarity.org

August 11th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 11 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 11 August 2017

On the occasion of the international observance of the Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, let us pray for and engage in active solidarity with the indigenous peoples struggle for their rights and protection of land.

This week the world observes the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. The indigenous peoples have too often been erased and silenced from the history and the present. The discussions about the future rarely consider indigenous peoples' voices and reality. Yet, their voices and message sound clear and louder each day. This year marks the 10th anniversary since the world and regional power groups adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Now is the time to implement it. Especially and more so among the people of faith, who have committed to worship and follow the God of peace, justice and love.

Let us reflect on what actions could we take in solidarity with the indigenous peoples who struggle to reclaim their cultural realities and to protect their lives, land and resources. Let us pray that we might comprehend more clearly what actions do we as people of faith need to take. Many of us in Christian Peacemaker Teams are descendants of settlers on lands of others. And some of us come from communities massacred and dispossessed by others. Let us pray for the renewal of strength and energy for the indigenous organizers and communities who ask for respect for their lives, rights and for just and equal opportunities. Let us pray for those who committed to live and work as allies and in solidarity. Let us carry in our thoughts and prayers members of the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team in Winnipeg, Canada.

Youth from Grassy Narrows

Consider watching a music video from an indigenous community of Grassy Narrows that CPT partners with.

Also, here you may read the latest updates from the CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team.

August 9th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos August 2-8

 

Occupied Bodies 

 
Pictured here:  The violation of a body search is commonplace under occupation here in Hebron. After settlers had attacked Palestinians with stones, this Palestinian teenager was stopped and searched arbitrarily by Israeli soldiers. As is frequent, he was forced to pull up his top, spin around and wait by a wall until he was allowed to walk past.

(04/08/2017)

August 7th

COLOMBIA: Lack of guarantees slows the peace process

CPTnet

8 August 2017

COLOMBIA: Lack of guarantees slows the peace process

by Hannah Redekop

Map showing the number of social leaders who have been killed

Leaders assassinated in 2017

The fears of human rights defenders in the region are becoming reality. While giving a summary of the context in the Magdalena Medio región, a member of the social movement of Barrancabermeja commented that “we knew that the postconflict period would be more difficult but we didn’t know it would be so hard”.

Several human rights and victim organizations met together on July 19th with the Peace and Coexistence office of the municipality of Barrancabermeja in order to analyze the new realities of the country in the context of the implementation of the peace accords.

A national representative of the Executive Secretariat for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) attended the meeting to inform about the new justice mechanism created out of the peace accords. However, this mechanism is not yet functional and has not yet been given the resources to collect evidence and testimonies.

This is one of the many examples that prove that the implementations of the peace accords is behind schedule.  The FARC combatants have handed over their weapons, but there are no security guarantees for them.  There has been great neglect on behalf the the state to institute justice and amnesty for the members of this guerrilla group, whose leaders only recently terminated a 25 day hunger strike after the state expedited a decree that would free the remaining imprisoned guerrilla fighters 

August 3rd

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 August 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 August 2017

Pray for the Yazidi people of Iraq whose genocide began three years ago. Pray for freedom and restoration of life for several thousand women and children still in the hands of ISIL.  


How to pray for people undergoing a genocide? What can we pray for?

On 3 August 2014, Daesh (known also as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL) invaded, pillaged and took control of the city and region of Sinjar (also known as Shingal) in Northern Iraq. Majority of the nearly 170,000 inhabitants of the region identified as members of a unique and ancient ethno-religious group that names themselves ĂŠzidĂ®, or Yazidi.  Daesh massacred around 5,000 men and took into slavery over 7,000 women and children. The rest of the people fled to a nearby mountain where many died of thirst, hunger and temperatures reaching above 48C/120F.

In the following days and weeks over a hundred thousand ĂŠzidĂ® survivors reached the relative safety of Kurdistan region of Iraq, while thousands stayed in displaced peoples' camps across the border in Syria, or on the Sinjar mountain. Thousands of others embarked on a grim journey towards the European Union.
 
Today, most of Shingal, though free of ISIL, lies in ruins and desolate. Several thousand women and children that Daesh kidnapped and enslaved found freedom or death. Several thousand continue to endure slavery and sexual exploitation. Their relatives keep on searching for them.

We might pray for ĂŠzidĂ® women, youth and children who have endured the seemingly unbearable and hope that they may find new life, freedom, healing, justice and peace. We might pray that the families be able to reunite with their loved ones. We can carry in our prayers ĂŠzidĂ® peacemakers who have reclaimed their lives despite displacement and unimaginable suffering and loss, and established initiatives and organizations of support, accompaniment, justice, and communal restoration and healing.   

Yazidi girl recites a poem in commemoration of the genocide