Lent fast urged for Iraqi detainees
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) members living and working in Iraq have made an appeal to the worldwide church to join a Fast for Justice and Healing throughout the season of Lent.
CPT members in Iraq will fast in a variety of ways including liquids-only, and from dawn to dusk as Muslims do during Ramadan. They will also engage in daily public witness in Baghdad.
The focus of the fast is Iraqi detainees. No one knows how many Iraqis are being detained. The Coalition Provisional Authority is able to provide names and locations for 11,000 to 13,000 detainees, but human rights organisations estimate that there are over 18,000.
Campaigners say that due process for the detained is unbearably slow or nonexistent, and many suffer abuse, hunger, and psychological distress in prison. Their families struggle to get by and wonder if their loved ones are dead or alive.
A CPT statement said; ìThousands of families --both in the U.S. and Iraq -- ache for the wounds of war to be healed.î
ìWe fast to set the oppressed free and to break the yokes of injustice that keep thousands of Iraqis imprisoned without due process. We fast to become more vulnerable to God's presence as we seek ways to reduce the fear, violence, and injustice that imprison all of us. We fast to seek the miracle of forgiveness, peace, and healing from all the terrors of war. We invite you to fast with us.î
Others are being urged to join the fast in other ways by giving up a meal, a TV show, or a favourite pastime each day during Lent and spending that time in prayer for a detainee and their family.
Groups are also being invited to fast in a particular way for the entire season of Lent, each person taking one day per week.
More details can be found on the CPT website www.cpt.org