BPFNA is an organizing partner in the Christian Witness for Peace in Iraq, an ecumenical group working toward a public witness event in Washington, DC in March 2007. The following is taken from a statement of the group. More information will be available on the BPFNA website as plans come together.
We invite you to join us in a “Christian Witness for Peace in Iraq.” As followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, our faith compels us to repent of our silence and our complicity with the invasion and occupation of Iraq and to renew our commitment to peacemaking. We ask you to join us in praying for peace, studying the scriptures, learning nonviolence, lighting candles of hope and gathering together for an ecumenical public witness on March 16, 2007.
Peace Witness Focus
1. End the U.S. Occupation. Like Isaiah, we are called to raise our prophetic voice, saying that security cannot be achieved through military domination of one people over another. We call on one another to learn to depend on God for genuine security. We call on the President Congress and to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, to remove our military bases, and to stop threatening Iran and other nations.
2. Support Our Troops. Like Jesus, who healed the sick and preached good news to the poor, we are called to be a pastoral presence to our country. We call on one another to honor soldiers and their families who give so much of themselves in times of conflict. We call on the President and Congress to provide generous support for veterans and active-duty soldiers and their families as they seek to rebuild their lives.
3. Rebuild Iraq. Like Paul, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves and to care even for our enemies. The lives of our sisters and brothers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and across the Middle East have been turned upside down by the war. We call on one another to financially support relief efforts in Iraq through our denominations. We call on the President and Congress to lead the way in funding the reconstruction of Iraq and providing humanitarian aid for shattered Iraqi families,
for our experience in other conflicts has taught us that such assistance is the most effective path to real security for all people around the world.
4. Say NO to Torture. Like the disciple who learned to put away the sword, we are called to treat others as we want to be treated. We call on one another to learn and practice the discipline of active nonviolence: to resist violence and injustice and to construct the culture of peace and reconciliation that we all desire. We insist that our government treat all enemy combatants humanely and take decisive action to ensure that torture is banned by all agencies of the United States government.
We invite you to join in a Christian witness against the war in Iraq, taking one or more of these forms war in Iraq, taking at least one of these forms:
• praying daily for the end of the war and occupation
• studying the Bible and its implications for U.S. foreign policy
• learning about and practicing active nonviolence
• fasting toward grounding our security in God
• forming groups for prayer, study and action
• inviting your neighbors to join in public witness against the war
• lighting candles in the windows of your home and house of worship
• participating in a weekly peace witness in your town center
Witness in Washington, D.C.
These preparations will culminate in a public Christian witness for peace in Washington, D.C., on March 16, 2007. We will share in an evening ecumenical worship service, a candlelight procession to the White House, and an all-night peace vigil, during which some participants may engage in “divine obedience” (civil disobedience) and risk possible arrest. We invite you to come to come to Washington, D.C. or to join similar public witness events in your community. We will provide resources for this invitation on our website, which is coming soon. We invite you to register your participation on the website.
We believe that until the Christian community is willing to take risks for peace, to put its words into action, to publicly witness that the war in Iraq is wrong, more people will die, more violence will shatter more lives, and we will all be less secure. Let us commit to the fullness of the Gospel vision of justice, peace, inclusive community and wholeness. Let us choose life that we and our children and the people of Iraq may live!
Scriptural references: Luke 19:41-42, Isaiah 31, Luke 7:22, Galatians 5:13-15; Romans 12:19-21, Matthew 26:51-52, Matthew 7:12, Deuteronomy 30:19