Thursday, March 23, 2006

[12.30 GMT] FACING UP TO A COSTLY VOCATION: Joy as Christian Peacemakers are freed in Iraq (Ekklesia, UK, 23/03/06) - Said Simon Barrow of the UK religious think tank Ekklesia, which is associated with Christian Peacemaker Teams UK: “The release of Norman, Jim and Harmeet is the wonderful news that many had been working and praying for, but perhaps did not quite dare to believe.” He went on: “Christian peace makers have great respect for those who carried out the operation to free the captives, but they nevertheless remain firmly committed to nonviolence as the only effective, long-term way to break the cycles of hatred, revenge, terror and killing which are destroying Iraq and threatening the world.” Added Barrow: “Many people will continue to question the propriety of unarmed interventions in places of great danger and conflict. But Christian Peacemaker Teams have made it clear that they will not be deterred by threats or opposition. They are tough-minded people who know the situation and know what they were doing. When Jesus called on his followers to make peace, he never said it was going to be anything other than risky – and he paid with his life.” Other reactions: Bruce Kent talks of delight at Kember release (Life Style Extra, UK); Timeline: how Kember saga unfolded (Times Online, UK); 'This is news beyond belief' (, United Kingdom); Jack Straw statement on Iraq hostage release (Times Online, UK); Christian Peacemakers delighted (, Canada); Behind the Christian Peacemakers' trip (Christian Science Monitor, MA, USA); Three hostages freed in Iraq (Shanghai Daily, China); Joy at news of Norman Kember's release (Harrow Times, UK); A life of peace (Guardian Unlimited, UK); 'A veteran peace activist' (The Sun, UK); Update 3: Three Christian Activists Rescued in Iraq (Forbes); Kember freed in Iraq rescue (Swissinfo, Switzerland); Christians urge love of enemies in face of hostage crisis (Ekklesia, UK); An Iraqi expatriate’s perspective: Iraqis suffering under US occupation (LaCrosse Tribune, WI, USA).

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