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ACTION ALERT
Christian Peacemaker Team Colombia trip April 2018

Photo of April 2018 Colombia delegation by Christian Peacemaker Teams, Colombia

Become a Christian Peacemaker! Join a delegation to Colombia or Canada

As Christians and members of the Church of the Brethren, we strongly believe that peacemaking can be done in conflict zones without the use of weapons or violent force. In a 2011 resolution, the Church of the Brethren called on "the denomination, districts, congregations and individuals to continue to support the work of groups like Christian Peacemaker Teams, seeking to provide an alternative to violence." As a witness to the effectiveness of relationship building and nonviolent action in the face of oppression, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) works in conflict zones at the invitation of local peacebuilding organizations.

Tim Heishman, a member of the Church of the Brethren, participated in an Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity delegation last year. Tim wrote, "[CPT believes] that Christians should put as much energy into working for peace as militaries do for war. Working against injustices and violence with peaceful methods allows us to retain the moral high ground and expose the injustices of the perpetrator in a way that a violent response would not. Sometimes violence is physical and other times it is structural. It can be stopped with unarmed civilian protection." You can read more about Tim's experience here.

You can be a part of this important work this summer! CPT invites you to participate in short-term delegations, which travel to countries like Colombia and Canada to witness the inspirational work being done by Christian Peacemaker Teams and their local partners. The Colombia and Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity delegations especially need participants- consider joining these delegations!

Colombia Delegation: June 26-July 6

EL Magdalena Medio is a region rich in renewable and non-renewable natural resources. Due to its richness and strategic position in the country, the city of Barrancabermeja and the Magdalena Medio region have suffered high levels of violence. Massacres and forced displacements left whole communities uprooted where criminal interests took advantage to take the lands and develop their economic projects.

Armed groups and paramilitaries control Barrancabermeja and the region. High levels of unemployment and poverty have created a situation where young people see no other options but to get involved with these groups. When judicial efforts to evict communities from their lands do not work, paramilitary groups are used to threaten them. Join our delegation to learn how national agrarian policies of development violate the human rights of campesinxs. Delve into the history of the armed conflict and learn how its legacy continues to haunt campesinxs through violence and lack of access to fair judicial processes.

Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity Delegation: July 20-July 30

Explore what it means to be an ally to Indigenous communities engaged in healing, resisting colonialism, and struggling for sovereignty. For years, Anishinaabe people in treaty 3 have been defending their land and way of life, and resisting imposed crises, such as mercury contamination of the English-Wabigoon river system 40 years ago which continues to poison fish that is a traditional staple of their diet. Also, clear-cut logging on their traditional land led to a blockade in 2002 that has successfully halted logging for the time being.

Starting in Winnipeg, MB (Treaty 1), delegates will meet with community development workers, Indigenous leaders, and then spend time with the community in Grassy Narrows (Treaty 3). Delegates will undertake an analysis of colonialism, participate in anti-racism exercises, and critically reflect on how to live in right relations with the Earth and their Indigenous neighbours.

These trips are opportunities to learn more about the region, build relationships, and amplify the voices of local peacebuilders. You can find the delegation schedule here: https://cpt.org/participate/delegation/schedule

In Christ's peace,

Tori Bateman
Associate, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Church of the Brethren
337 North Carolina Ave SE,Washington, DC
vbateman@brethren.org


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For more information about this ministry of the Church of the Brethren, contact Nathan Hosler, Director, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy:

Nathan Hosler
337 North Carolina Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
nhosler@brethren.org
717-333-1649

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Church of the Brethren Action Alerts are a ministry of the denomination's Global Mission and Service and Office of Peacebuilding and Policy in Washington, D.C. Contact Global Mission and Service at the Church of the Brethren General Offices, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 or mission@brethren.org.

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