Press briefing on released Christian Peacemakers

By staff writers
March 23, 2006

Press briefing on released Christian Peacemakers

-23/03/06

Following the release of the three remaining Christian peacemaker hostages, the thinktank Ekklesia which works in partnership with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in the UK has issued the following 10 point briefing note.

Spokespeople are available to answer questions on the work of CPT and the nonviolent strategies that it pursues.

Briefing

1. Christian Peacemaker Teams have maintained a continuous presence in Iraq since before the invasion.
2. Christian Peacemakers empower Iraqis to stand up for their own human rights but also to work together to overcome conflict at a time of deep hostilities between Muslims in the country.

3. Christian Peacemakers documented the abuse of 72 Iraqi detainees by US forces four months before the Abu Ghraib prison scandal became public. This was reported by the BBC amongst others, at the time.

4. Christian Peacemakers ran an "adopt-an-Iraqi- detainee" campaign to draw attention to human rights abuses in the country and returning CPT delegates have done their best to tell the stories of these detainees in their home communities, churches and meetings.

5. Christian Peacemakers facilitated the development of Muslim Peacemaker Teams to build bridges between Iraqi communities that are in conflict and has supported other local human rights organisations.

6. Christian Peacemakers may well have prevented violence against Christians in Iraq by showing that the invasion of Iraq was not part of a war of Christianity against Islam ñ despite comments from George W Bush and Tony Blair which suggested otherwise contrary.

7. The number of Christian Peacemakers in Iraq is extremely small. Their positive effect and peacemaking work is disproportionate to their size.

8. When the peacemakers were taken hostage, calls for their release flooded in from Muslims all around the world.

9. The goodwill that the Christian peacemakers elicited from the community around them may have had a great deal to do with the intelligence that appears to have played an important part in their release.

10. Christian peacemakers point that what the friends and family of Norman Kember, Harmeet Sooden, James Loney and Tom Fox have been through in the last 4 months is very similar to what the families of detainees of American and British forces have been going through on a daily basis for 3 years.

Additional information for editors

A briefing put together when the Christian Peacemakers were first taken hostage, containing a timeline of the work of CPT in Iraq is available here.

The Ekklesia web site contains almost one hundred additional articles about, and by, Christian Peacemakers.

About Ekklesia

Ekklesia was recently listed by the Independent newspaper as one of the top 20 British thinktanks. Last year it raised over £130,000 for peace and justice work around the world. It undertakes consultancy, and also runs conferences, events and a daily news briefing service. It advocates nonviolence and works in partnership with Christian Peacemaker Teams in the UK.

Press briefing on released Christian Peacemakers

-23/03/06

Following the release of the three remaining Christian peacemaker hostages, the thinktank Ekklesia which works in partnership with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in the UK has issued the following 10 point briefing note.

Spokespeople are available to answer questions on the work of CPT and the nonviolent strategies that it pursues.

Briefing

1. Christian Peacemaker Teams have maintained a continuous presence in Iraq since before the invasion.
2. Christian Peacemakers empower Iraqis to stand up for their own human rights but also to work together to overcome conflict at a time of deep hostilities between Muslims in the country.

3. Christian Peacemakers documented the abuse of 72 Iraqi detainees by US forces four months before the Abu Ghraib prison scandal became public. This was reported by the BBC amongst others, at the time.

4. Christian Peacemakers ran an "adopt-an-Iraqi- detainee" campaign to draw attention to human rights abuses in the country and returning CPT delegates have done their best to tell the stories of these detainees in their home communities, churches and meetings.

5. Christian Peacemakers facilitated the development of Muslim Peacemaker Teams to build bridges between Iraqi communities that are in conflict and has supported other local human rights organisations.

6. Christian Peacemakers may well have prevented violence against Christians in Iraq by showing that the invasion of Iraq was not part of a war of Christianity against Islam ñ despite comments from George W Bush and Tony Blair which suggested otherwise contrary.

7. The number of Christian Peacemakers in Iraq is extremely small. Their positive effect and peacemaking work is disproportionate to their size.

8. When the peacemakers were taken hostage, calls for their release flooded in from Muslims all around the world.

9. The goodwill that the Christian peacemakers elicited from the community around them may have had a great deal to do with the intelligence that appears to have played an important part in their release.

10. Christian peacemakers point that what the friends and family of Norman Kember, Harmeet Sooden, James Loney and Tom Fox have been through in the last 4 months is very similar to what the families of detainees of American and British forces have been going through on a daily basis for 3 years.

Additional information for editors

A briefing put together when the Christian Peacemakers were first taken hostage, containing a timeline of the work of CPT in Iraq is available here.

The Ekklesia web site contains almost one hundred additional articles about, and by, Christian Peacemakers.

About Ekklesia

Ekklesia was recently listed by the Independent newspaper as one of the top 20 British thinktanks. Last year it raised over £130,000 for peace and justice work around the world. It undertakes consultancy, and also runs conferences, events and a daily news briefing service. It advocates nonviolence and works in partnership with Christian Peacemaker Teams in the UK.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.