Prayers

Prayers for Peacemakers 18 April 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers  18 April 2018  Lesvos

Pray that the Moria 35 receive justice when they stand trial on 20 April 2018.  If convicted, they could receive sentences of up to ten years and/or deportation.

On 18 July 2017, thirty-five people were arbitrarily arrested during a violent police raid in Moria camp on Lesvos.  That morning a peaceful protest took place in Moria camp, where people demanded that the authorities lift the geographical restriction imposed by the EU-Turkey statement, allow people to travel to mainland Greece, and denounced the inhumane living conditions in the camp. During the demonstration, a confrontation occurred between the police and some of the protesters. An hour after this skirmish had ended, riot police violently raided the African section of the camp and arrested people at random. There is substantial evidence of brutal police violence during the raid, the arrests and in the police station. Many of the people arrested were not even present in Moria camp at the time of the protest. The Moria 35 all face identical criminal charges including arson, resisting arrest, attempted assault, rioting, damage to private property and disturbing the public peace.  No credible or individual evidence appears to exist against any of them.  Authorities have kept them in prison since 18 July. The risk of conviction not only includes a prison sentence, but also an impending threat of deportation.

Members of CPT Lesvos visited some of the people in Chios prison to collect their personal stories in order to counter the state narrative that paints these people as criminals. The team acts as a part of a broader campaign that calls for justice and solidarity for the Moria 35. Pray for justice.

Prayers for Peacemakers 11 April 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 11 April 2018  Colombia

Pray that in the upcoming presidential election, Colombians will vote with a heart of peace and not of stone.

On 11 March Colombians voted for a new congress and on 27 May they will vote for a new President. Ivan Duque, right wing presidential candidate supported by former President Alvaro Uribe, a staunch opponent of the agreement between the FARC and the government, promises to make changes that could drastically derail its implementation.  Duque and Uribe argue that the agreement is too lenient, that former guerrilla members did not receive enough punishment for their crimes.  They prefer a system where FARC ex-combatants are imprisoned rather than receive an alternative sentence in exchange for telling the truth and providing reparations to victims of the conflict. The international community has called the agreement one of the best in history.  

This ambivalence has created a climate of uncertainty in Colombia, generating new levels of violence not seen since the signing of the agreement over a year ago. Although the agreement does not resolve Colombia's issues of violence and injustice, it has helped to bring an end to the war and to shift the focus to the root issues of inequality.  The Colombians most at risk for violence need the agreement to endure.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 March 2018 Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 March 2018  Kurdistan

 

Pray for the family members of the four men who died in a Turkish airstrike following the Newroz celebration of freedom. Pray that the protests that spread again over Iraqi Kurdistan remain nonviolent and bring about the changes the people demand.  Pray that the world not remain silent against the recent Turkish military invasion into Iraqi Kurdistan that threatens the lives of many communities. 

 Iraqi Kurdistan’s six-months-long blockade has ended. The Iraqi authorities have finally lifted the ban on international flights to and from the region. The first airplanes from neighboring countries began landing again in the region’s capital Erbil. Sulaimani is still waiting for the reopening of flights.

At the same time, the Turkish military, encouraged by the silence and inactivity of the international community towards their bombardment and invasion of Syrian Afrin, which killed hundreds and forced over 150,000 people to flee their homes, invaded the border regions of Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish ground forces are about fifteen miles deep within the Iraqi Kurdistan territory (Sidakan district), building bases and attacking armed groups. Farmers and shepherds, many of whom CPT partners with, are under great threat.

 On 21 March, Kurds and other people around the world celebrated Newroz, the coming of the New Year and the festival of liberation from tyranny. On the Newroz night Turkish fighter jets bombarded Sarkan village and killed four young men: Bezhan Mustafa, Mohammad Ismail, Darbaz Mohammad, Sherko Mahmud. Two of them were relatives of a close CPT friend. Our hearts are with their families and friends. 

This week, new anti-government protests spread around many towns and cities of Iraqi Kurdistan. Teachers, medical workers, and other government employees are asking for the government to pay their salaries. They march and gather in the public spaces and block roads. In the governorate of Sulaimani the security forces have taken on a peaceful, respectful approach even towards people who have set up tents and camp on a major road in front of the Sulaimani courthouse. We hope that the security forces’ attitude continues and the government hears and affirms the people’s demands. In other parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, the security forces have beaten and arrested people, including teachers and journalists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers for Peacemakers 22 March 2018 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers 22 March 2018  Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

On World Water Day (22 March), please hold the people of Grassy Narrows, Wabaseemoong, and  Wabauskang First Nations in your thoughts and prayers as they remember those who have died and continue to suffer the health impacts of mercury poisoning.  CPT-Indigenous Peoples Solidarity and other supporters will be accompanying community members of Grassy Narrows as they hold a vigil in Dryden, Ontario, where a pulp and paper mill dumped ten tonnes of toxic mercury into the Wabigoon River in the 1960s, poisoning the people upstream. May the hearts and minds of the public be open to understanding and justice for the intergenerational environmental harm caused by this industrial activity. 

Youth from Grassy Narrows perform "Home to Me" at Queens Park, Toronto, at June 2016 River Run. Only a month earlier, leading North
 American mercury researchers released a report describing a number of promising possibilities for eliminating mercury in the
 English-Wabigoon river system, which, until then, the Ontario government repeatedly claimed would only make matters worst." 

Prayers for Peacemakers, 14 March 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers,  14 March 2018   Lesvos

 

 

Pray for the safety of the 400 migrants who arrived on Lesvos last week, and for the authorities to extend them the kindness and care they need.  Migrants who come to the island and are put in the Moria concentration camp do not receive the medical treatment that people who have made such a difficult journey following severe experiences of violence should get.

Pray for the migrants and inhabitants of islands who fell victim to the unfair and unlawful deal between Turkey and the EU, which resulted in the heavy militarisation of the artificial borders in the Aegean Sea. Thousands of migrants and refugees are stranded in a situation of constant limbo because of the EU-Turkey deal.

Pray for the participants in the Convergence of CPT-Europe that starts today on Lesvos, so that they have clarity and wisdom to make right decisions.

Prayers for Peacemakers 6 March 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 6 March 2018   Colombia


Pray for the sons and daughters of campesinxs in Colombia, who are so young and yet know the taste of injustice‑-girls and boys who should only be worried about going to school and planning their future, but instead are worried if their parents will have enough to feed them. May these children become women and men willing to fight for their rights and have the hope and wisdom to resist peacefully the powers that oppress their families.


Sandro is ten years old and lives in the farming, or campesinx, community of El Guayabo. He loves to wake up early and milk the cows with his dad. His family’s farm is where he used to spend his days playing while his mother prepared lunch, his father worked the land and his younger sister played with her dog, Esnou.

Late last year, Sandro witnessed the destruction of their farm. He watched the police from Puerto Wilches take an illegal action and demolish the farmhouse where he spent his afternoons.

When he was nine he learned about the persecution of campesinxs in Colombia. He was separated from his dad, Erik Payares, for six months.   His father had to flee El Guayabo due to a false accusation that resulted in an arrest warrant. Sandro learned that the government sides with those who have money and learned that human justice fails.

Left: Remains of Sandro’s family farm house after the eviction raid on December 13, 2017. Photo: Caldwell Manners/ECAP

Right: Sandro Jimenez explains his understanding of the earth and why he thinks his corner of the world is beautiful. Photo: Caldwell Manners/ECAP 

Prayers for Peacemakers 28 February 2018 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers 28 February 2018   Palestine

 

Pray for the people of Hebron who are remembering the mass shooting in the Il Ibrahimi mosque by settler Baruch Goldstein this week.  Twenty-four years after he sprayed men and boys at prayer with automatic weapons fire, the people of Hebron’s Old City, who had loved ones murdered on that day and family members permanently disabled, have seen their home increasingly turned into a prison by the Israeli authorities.  These apartheid restrictions show the children of Hebron’s Old City every day that settler lives are worthy of protection and Palestinian lives are disposable.

Check out CPT-Palestine’s school semester report August 2017-January 2018, for more insight into the lives of children in Hebron’s Old City.

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 February 2018 Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 February 2018   Kurdistan

Pray for the people living in Afrin, Syria as they face NATO backed Turkish bombings.  Pray that that the Kurdish people in Afrin face the invasion of their homeland with courage.  Pray for the wounded that flood local hospitals and the workers that treat them. 


   

Afrin is a newly formed canton known as Rojava, which is part of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria with a majority Kurdish population. It continues to be bombed by Erdogan, President of Turkey, who launched the Olive Branch Operation on 20 January 2018. Erdogan has claimed that his mission is to secure Turkey's borders from Kurdish militias and he plans to move the Turkish military to Manbaj, Syria after conquering Afrin and the rest of the newly formed Kurdish democratic region Rojava. This operation is bombing civilians and their livelihoods, wiping out hospitals, schools and homes. Recent reports indicate the use of toxic gas in Afrin, where six people have been hospitalized. Afrin Canton's population is more than 500,000 people and it hosts around 120,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have fled the lengthy war in Syria.  Reports indicate that the Turkish invasion and bombing have resulted in the displacement of 17,000 people, numerous deaths and casualties as well as mass destruction that will require decades of rebuilding.  The people of Afrin have been seeking international solidarity to stop another war, while Syria has been struggling with a bloody and protracted war more than seven years. However, there has been too little response and all the international powers have turned a blind eye to the atrocities and the genocide that Erdogan is committing. We ask everyone to help the people of Afrin in these difficult times to stop another genocide and war in Rojava (The Kurdish Region of Syria).

Sign the CPT Iraqi-Kurdistan's petition to Stop the Attack on Afrin 

#AfrinNotAlone 

#TurkeyHandsOffAfrin 

#StopTurkeySaveAfrin

COLOMBIA POEM: Our Faith

Sandro Jiménez and CPTer Carolina Gouveia chat on the banks of the Magdalena river about the recent eviction his family experienced on December 13, 2017 in El Guayabo. Caldwell Manners/CPT

He has died,
they have told me he has died,
He has died,
I saw him, he is dead,
He has died,
And with him, we have died,
He has died,
And with him our hopes
Have died,
And with him our liberation
Has died,
And with him the light has gone out,
He has died,
And he has left us alone in the darkness,
He has died,
And with him everything is gone… including my life.

But what happened?

 

Prayers for Peacemakers, 7 February 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers, 7 February 2018 Lesvos

Pray for the liberation of refugees from the brutal violence that the EU and Turkey subject them to. Pray for the transformation of the oppressive and violent situation on the Greek Islands to a peaceful and just togetherness.