NCC Calls Congregations to Prayer for Peacemakers
The National Council of Churches today called religious congregations to prayer for the four peacemakers held hostage in Iraq. This afternoon Al Jazeera television reported that the kidnappers were threatening to kill the peace activists unless all prisoners and US and Iraqi detention centers are released.
The four hostages are: Tom Fox, 54, Clearbrook, Virginia, Norman Kember, 74, London, James Loney, 41, Toronto, Canada, Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, a Canadian. More information on them are found at the Christian Peacemaker Teams website: http://www.cpt.org/
Tom, Norman, James and Harmeet are in Iraq for the sole purpose of bearing witness to the love of God as it is expressed through the sacrificial presence of the Prince of Peace, says the NCC statement.
Because of their lifelong commitment to Jesus and the holy calling of peacemaking, these our brothers live to bear witness to the fact that violence is a sin against God. Indeed, they have consistently carried that message to the Coalition forces, first by condemning the political decisions to make war and later by expressing horror at the degrading violence the war begets. Long before the media reports, they were the first to protest the torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib Prison. Their message of peace was also expressed to those whose attacks on Coalition forces escalated the violence and whose suicide bombs took the lives of thousands of innocent human beings.
On Wednesday, Jerusalem Post reported that leaders of Palestinian political factions gathered in Hebron to issue a statement in Arabic about their experiences of seeing the CPT working in Palestine, and their personal knowledge of the three kidnapped members and their important work on behalf of the Palestinian people. Read their statement is here: http://www.cpt.org/iraq/response/palstatement.htm
The World Council of Churches also made the following statement: http://www2.wcc-coe.org/pressreleasesen.nsf/index/pr-05-73.html