Middle East Christians and Muslims renew plea for Iraq captives - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
January 1, 2006

Middle East Christians and Muslims renew plea for Iraq captives

-01/01/06

In a message re-issued towards the end of last week, the Middle East Council of Churches and the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue have renewed their call for the release of four Christian Peacemaker Teams activists held hostage in Iraq since 26 November 2005.

They say that the continued holding of the peace workers sets back the cause of peace and justice in Iraq and full rights for the Palestinian people,

MECC General Secretary, Mr Guirgis Saleh, and Professor Dr Hamid Bin Ahmad Al Rifaie of IIFD originally issued their joint statement in support of abductees Tom Fox, Norman Kember, Jim Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden at the beginning of December.

In the document, released in Arabic, the Middle East Council of Churches and International Islamic Forum for Dialogue leaders denounce the kidnappings as an ìugly aggression on the freedom and dignity of the human beingî.

Dr Rifaie and Mr Saleh together emphasize that the abduction, carried out by a previously unknown group called Swords of Truth Brigades, constitutes ìa flagrant distortion of the aims of the Iraqi struggle against the occupation, a violation of all religious values and of the spirit of human solidarity towards the Arab cause for a Palestinian independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and towards the achievement of independence and peace in Iraq.î

Meanwhile CPT workers in Iraq continue to wait in hope for news of their missing colleagues, who have not been heard of since 8 December 2005.

Christian Peacemaker Teams' spokesperson Sara Reschly says they are still working hard to get the captives released.

She adds that CPT is continuing to highlight a worldwide campaign against the war and occupation in Iraq.

Meanwhile, international relations expert Dr Paul Buchanan told a New Zealand news network today that he believes the silence from the kidnappers could indicate they are in negotiations to release the four men.

Dr Buchanan says the most likely scenario is that they have been taken hostage by an Iraqi criminal group, something which has happened to around eight international aid workers in the last few years. Most have been released unharmed eventually.

[Also on Ekklesia: UK envoy remains hopeful on Iraq captives; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended; Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh; British Muslims in fresh plea for Norman Kember; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives; Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers]

Middle East Christians and Muslims renew plea for Iraq captives

-01/01/06

In a message re-issued towards the end of last week, the Middle East Council of Churches and the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue have renewed their call for the release of four Christian Peacemaker Teams activists held hostage in Iraq since 26 November 2005.

They say that the continued holding of the peace workers sets back the cause of peace and justice in Iraq and full rights for the Palestinian people,

MECC General Secretary, Mr Guirgis Saleh, and Professor Dr Hamid Bin Ahmad Al Rifaie of IIFD originally issued their joint statement in support of abductees Tom Fox, Norman Kember, Jim Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden at the beginning of December.

In the document, released in Arabic, the Middle East Council of Churches and International Islamic Forum for Dialogue leaders denounce the kidnappings as an 'ugly aggression on the freedom and dignity of the human being'.

Dr Rifaie and Mr Saleh together emphasize that the abduction, carried out by a previously unknown group called Swords of Truth Brigades, constitutes 'a flagrant distortion of the aims of the Iraqi struggle against the occupation, a violation of all religious values and of the spirit of human solidarity towards the Arab cause for a Palestinian independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and towards the achievement of independence and peace in Iraq.'

Meanwhile CPT workers in Iraq continue to wait in hope for news of their missing colleagues, who have not been heard of since 8 December 2005.

Christian Peacemaker Teams' spokesperson Sara Reschly says they are still working hard to get the captives released.

She adds that CPT is continuing to highlight a worldwide campaign against the war and occupation in Iraq.

Meanwhile, international relations expert Dr Paul Buchanan told a New Zealand news network today that he believes the silence from the kidnappers could indicate they are in negotiations to release the four men.

Dr Buchanan says the most likely scenario is that they have been taken hostage by an Iraqi criminal group, something which has happened to around eight international aid workers in the last few years. Most have been released unharmed eventually.

[Also on Ekklesia: UK envoy remains hopeful on Iraq captives; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended; Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh; British Muslims in fresh plea for Norman Kember; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives; Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers]

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