Washington, DC, April 29 — Representatives of the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, an ecumenical organization gathered today and tomorrow in Washington, DC, have been granted an audience with an Iraq policy official from the White House. Just as their two-day event was beginning early this afternoon, group members received word of the meeting, which will be today at 4:30 p.m.
Speaking for the hundreds of mostly progressive Christians at this week’s event, the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq (CPWI) representatives will present the organization’s “pearl points,” gathered from the collected work of more than 20 faith-based peace organizations participating in the coalition. Among other things, these goals call for an end to the war in and occupation of Iraq, the implementation of an Iraqi-led international effort to rebuild Iraq and care for Iraqis displace due to the war, and the support of troops by bringing them home safely and providing for physical, mental and spiritual healing.
“We are grateful for the president’s early moves to end the war in Iraq and his boldness and clarity in telling the world that torture is never acceptable,” said CPWI spokesperson Rick Ufford-Chase, director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. “Now we call on President Obama to set a firm and quick timeline for removing all US military bases and troops from Iraq. Healthy relationships are impossible if the Middle East fears we seek military and economic dominance in the region.”
Earlier this year, CPWI sent a letter to President Obama asking the administration to apologize to the people of Iraq on behalf of our nation, to help Iraqis rebuild their country and resettle five million refugees, and to set a timeline to remove all US military bases and troops from Iraq. “Healing cannot begin without making it clear we are sorry for the suffering we caused for hundreds of thousands of Iraqis,” said Ufford-Chase. “We must pursue the future well-being of Iraqis with the same vigor we applied to war against them,” he continued.
Today’s opening convocation at Washington’s National City Christian Church featured speakers Noah Baker Merrill and Kathy Kelly. Worship at the church at 7:00 p.m. today will be led by Elizabeth McAlister, Tony Campolo, Lennox Yearwood and Dianna Ortiz. A prayer vigil and public witness will follow in front of the White House at 8:45 p.m.
Johnny Almond is Communications & Technology Manager for Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, an organizing partner of the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq.
Read the "pearl points" at: www.bpfna.org/cpwi
Additional information at: www.christianpeacewitness.org
to download this press release as a PDF file.