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March 10, 2006 | bpfna
BPFNA mourns the loss of Tom Fox, one of four Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) workers kidnapped and held hostage in Iraq since last November.
Word came late Friday that Fox's body had been found in Iraq and identified by the US Federal Bureau of Invesitgation (FBI).
Fox, 54, was in Iraq with a delegation working with CPT. In a short video dated February 28 and aired early this week on Al-Jazeera television, Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, appeared along with BPFNA member Norman Kember, a Briton who heads the Baptist Peace Fellowship in the United Kingdom. CPT members were disturbed not to see Fox with the other hostages.
In a statement issued Friday, Christian Peacemaker Teams said, "We mourn the loss of Tom Fox, who combined a lightness of spirit, a firm opposition to all oppression, and the recognition of God in everyone."
Christian Peacemaker co-directors Doug Pritchard and Carol Rose said in a statement, "In response to Tom's passing, we ask that everyone set aside inclinations to vilify or demonize others, no matter what they have done."
Paul Slattery, a member of Langley Hill Friends Meeting in McLean, Virginia, where Fox attended, said "This guy was not after martyrdom by any means. He actually believed in his heart that he would better them by his conviction and his beliefs and his skills, and I think largely succeeded.
"What he leaves behind is a tremendous challenge for the rest of us and a guiding force."
The actual cause of Fox's death was not immediately known, and reports say that additional forensic work will be done in the US.
In a statement released Friday night, BPFNA Coordinating Director Gary Percesepe said, "Our hearts go out to the family of Tom Fox, on of four Christian Peacemaker Team peacemakers held hostage in Iraq, who was found dead this morning in Iraq. We continue in prayer for Norman Kember, Harmeet Singh Sooden, and James Loney, and call for their safe release--these who went peacefully to Iraq, on a mission of peace, who bear good will in their hearts for all men & women upon this earth...