UCC and Disciples leadership urge release of kidnapped CPT
In this time of heightened debate over the future of the United States’ involvement in Iraq, we are dismayed by the news last week of the kidnapping of four Christian Peacemaker Team members there.
In this time of heightened debate over the future of the United States’ involvement in Iraq, we are dismayed by the news last week of the kidnapping of four Christian Peacemaker Team members there.We know well the strong witness for peace and justice, clear position against war and occupation, and message of solidarity that the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) have exhibited in various situations of conflict, including Iraq, Israel and Palestine, and Columbia. We know that some of our own denominations’ members have participated in CPT activities and have returned with very compelling stories to relate about what they have seen and experienced. CPT is committed to justice and opposed to violence. These positions are grounded in a Christian theology of peace–including peacemaking and witness for justice. CPT members do not seek to convert people of other faiths–indeed they seek to urge better interreligious relations, working for higher levels of tolerance and acceptance among people of different faiths.
We join people of faith–including Christians and Muslims of the Middle East–to urge the captors to release these four hostages.
We encourage our members to visit the Christian Peacemaker Teams website www.cpt.org and sign the online petition in support of peaceful means to bring about the release of these hostages “so that they may continue their vital work as witnesses and peacemakers.”
We urge elected U.S. leaders to take the question of U.S. occupation of Iraq very seriously and urgently, outlining a plan of action which supports Iraqi self-determination and works to reduce militarization. The ongoing violence only ensures that more innocent people, both Iraqi and non-Iraqi, are harmed.
We pray for peace and justice.
Rev. John H. Thomas Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President General Minister and President
United Church of Christ Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte Rev. David Vargas
Executive Minister, President,
Wider Church Ministries, UCC Division of Overseas Ministries, Disciples
Common Global Ministries Board Common Global Ministries Board
Peter E. Makari
Executive, Middle East and Europe
Common Global Ministries Board