From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
[PCUSANEWS] PC(USA) officials plead for hostages' lives
PCUSA NEWS <PCUSA.NEWS@ECUNET.ORG>
Wed, 7 Dec 2005 17:04:15 -0600
Note #9050 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:
Dec. 8, 2005
PC(USA) officials plead for hostages' lives
Ufford-Chase, Kirkpatrick urge release of 4 Peacemaker Team members
by the Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE - Rick Ufford-Chase, moderator of the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, the
denomination's stated clerk, have written a letter to the denomination and
its Middle East partners, urging the immediate release of four Christian
Peacemaker Team members taken hostage in Baghdad, Iraq.
In the Dec. 7 letter, Ufford-Chase and Kirkpatrick wrote, "We believe
that all violence is wrong, and that the action of kidnapping cannot be
justified under any circumstance. We pray for those who are holding the
Christian Peacemaker Team volunteers, and for all those who are unjustly
The kidnappers, who call themselves the Swords of Justice Brigades,
have threatened to kill the four by Dec. 7 unless Iraq frees all its
prisoners and British and U.S. soldiers leave the country.
The text of the letter:
To the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Church's Middle East Partners
Many Presbyterians in the United States are aware that four
volunteers with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Baghdad have been held without
communication for almost a week. We are gravely concerned about their safety,
as well as the safety of all people, both Iraqi and United States, whose
lives have been endangered because of the United States' war against Iraq.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has spoken
forcefully about our conviction that there was no justification for the U.S.
Government's invasion of Iraq. Presbyterians pray daily for the innocent
Iraqi civilians, U.S. soldiers, and all others whose lives are at risk at
this time. Further, we have spoken clearly about our grave concern for those
who have been detained by U.S. forces, and for their families.
The Moderator of the 216th General Assembly (2004) is an active
participant with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), and we have supported CPT
in its human rights work to stand against violence all over the world. In
Iraq, CPT volunteers have worked to support the families of those who have
been and are still detained. We know that those who are holding these
volunteers have called for the release of all detainees in Iraq. Christian
Peacemaker Teams has consistently called on our government to hold no
prisoner without charge, to treat all prisoners with respect and with
dignity, and to provide good information about the detainees to their
We believe that all violence is wrong, and that the action of
kidnapping cannot be justified under any circumstance. We pray for those who
are holding the Christian Peacemaker Team volunteers, and for all those who
are unjustly detained.
We ask that the volunteers be released immediately, so that we might
all continue to work for peace in a troubled land.
Rick Ufford-Chase, moderator, 216th General Assembly (2004)
The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the General Assembly
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