On Saturday, November 26, 2005 four members of “Christian peacemakers Teams”:www.cpt.org were abducted in iraq. On March 20th the body of American Quaker Tom Fox was found; on March 23rd, the remaining three hostages were freed by U.S. and British military forces.
Here at Nonviolence.org, we have always been impressed and highly supportive of the deep witness of the Christian peacemakers Teams. Their members have represented the best in both the peace and Christian movements, consistently putting themselves in danger to witness the gospel of peace. Not content to write letters or stand on pickett lines in safe western capitals, they go to the frontlines of violence and proclaim a radical alternative.
While we can be grateful for the release of the three remaining hostages, we should continue to remember the 43 foreign hostages still being held in iraq and the 10 – 30 iraqis reportedly taken hostage each and every day. As iraq slips into full-scale civil war we must also organize against the war-mongerers, both foreign and internal and finde ways of standing alongside those iraqis who want nothing more than peace and freedom.
Here’s links to recent articles on the situation: https://delicious.com/martin_kelley/news.cpt-four.foxmemorial
And a personal note from Nonviolence.org’s Martin Kelley: I myself am a Christian and Quaker and one of our folks, Tom Fox, of Langley Hill (Virginia) Friends Meeting is among the hostages. I don’t know Tom personally but over the last few days I’ve learned we have many Friends in common and they have all testified to his deep committment to peace. Some of the links above are more explicitly Quaker than most things I post to Nonviolence.org, but they give perspective on why Tom and his companions would see putting themselves in danger as an act of religious service. I am grateful for Tom’s current witness in iraq – yes, even as a hostage – but I certainly hope he soon comes back to his family and community and that the attention and witness of these four men’s ordeal helps to bring the news of peace to streets and halls of Baghdad, Washington, London and Ottawa.