Thursday, December 08, 2005


[Update: Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05]

Yesterday I was writing, in connection with Advent hope and the CPT hostages in Iraq: "[Though it does not happen as much as we might want, hearts can be melted. Simply dehumanizing those whose actions revile us does nothing to break the cycle of hatred, even if it makes us feel better." Later in the day the news became public that Abu Qatada, allegedly Osama Bin Laden's agent in Europe, had asked his solicitor to arrange for a TV recording in his UK prison cell (where he is being held under British terror laws) to ask the Sword of Truth Brigades to have mercy on the four abductees. Extraordinary, whatever we think of his other views and actions. Note the deadline of their threatened killing (if US and UK Iraqi detainees are not released) has been extended for 48 hours to Saturday. There is a glimpse of light in a very dark situation, though no-one should doubt the continuing gravity of it. Petition for the release of the four. Incidentally, a friend in the US said recently that the issue is much more difficult to discuss in many Christian churches, where the work done by CPT is often seen as "too controversial" or "unpatriotic". How very sad. In Britain too, some of the church media have been rather recalcitrant, to put it politely.

For reference, here (below) is the full archive of material on the kidnappings from Ekklesia. Some of these links, but by no means all, have been notified on FinS.

[Full and chronological related articles on Ekklesia: Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

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