Tuesday, December 20, 2005


A letter to pastors and others from Gene Stoltzfus, a founder of Christian Peacemaker Teams. See also his Who did it? (about the Iraq kidnappings) on Ekklesia.

"As I write this you are preparing your Christmas and New Year sermons. During my years as the Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams I grew in my understanding of violence, terrorism and the "fight" for freedom. When we began I believed that a tiny organization would only make a slight inroad into our common task of ending organized killing. But I believed that the spiritual and practical power of the world wide church would eventually be the pivotal force in changing the outcome.

"Two years ago I was in Baghdad where I spoke with many Muslim leaders in the mosques. For some it may have been their first contact with Christians. We listened to each other explain our work and our needs. Some understood that Christians thought of all of them as terrorists. Many were outraged by the disappearances of people in their community and the residual effect of the occupation which to them was terrorism. We were also concerned about these matters and found common ground. When we described our work in nonviolence and refusal to accept armed protection they listened and said, "That is what Islam is about. We can do that." Others said, "It wouldn’t work here."... Continued here.

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