Tag Archives: Iran

Faith statement on escalating violence with Iran

A statement released and updated by a number of faith-based groups.

January 3, 2020

As people of faith, we condemn the United States’ dangerous aggression towards Iran, including the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the deployment of additional troops to the region. We urge the Administration to step back from the brink of war.

Our faith communities see the futility of war, and its power to dehumanize. We know that human flourishing entails breaking cycles of violence, being courageous peacemakers, and focusing on the root causes of conflict. Violent conflict is a path of mutual destruction.

  • Instead, all actors must move forward in a way that upholds our shared, sacred human dignity:
  • All parties must begin by re-humanizing each other without excusing unjust and violent actions.
  • The U.S. Administration must halt violent attacks and military escalations. It must return to a diplomatic process, recognizing that lasting peace requires a commitment to the shared well-being of every human, from Iran to the United States and everywhere in between.
  • The U.S. Congress must act to reassert its war powers by refusing authorization for war with Iran and related attacks, and to block funding for war with Iran.
  • U.S. actions and strategy in the region must address the root causes of the conflict, such as distrust, trauma, economic resources, and political influence.
  • All of us must support nonviolent creative actions of resistance to any unjust and violent actions.

As communities of faith, we renounce the escalation of violence, and call on the United States to work towards lasting peace with Iran.

Signed,
American Friends Service Committee
Center on Conscience and War
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Churches for Middle East Peace
Coalition for Peace Action
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Conference of Superiors of Men (Catholic)
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
Faith in Public Life
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas- Institute Leadership Team
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

Updated January 6th, 2020 with the following signers:

Choose Life Abort War Podcast for Peace
Church of the Brethren
Disciples Justice Action Network
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Glenmary Home Missioners
Mennonite Church USA
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Pax Christi Metro New York
Pax Christi USA
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice

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Filed under Current Events, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

No War with Iran

Iran_Day_Jan_09_2020_1_(1)

Here is where I am going to be Thursday night.

January 09, 2020 at 5pm – 6pm
Times Square
42nd St and Broadway Ave
New York, NY 10007
United States

On Thursday, January 9, CODEPINK is joining the call to stand together and say NO to war with Iran. The Trump administration is dragging the United States into a war with Iran that could engulf the whole region and could quickly turn into a global conflict of unpredictable scope and the gravest consequences. The people of the world need to rise up and stop it. For all who believe in peace, for all who are opposed to yet another catastrophic war, now is the time to take action. On Thursday, January 9 in cities across the country, there will be protests against a new war in the Middle East. Please join us. Don’t forget to contact Congress and tell them to prevent Trump from being able to carry out his war!

Print and bring this sign up form with you so we can sign up anyone who is interested in joining us at our January 25 international day of action. Then, send photos of the sign up for to iran@codepink.org 

Use our activist toolkit to print posters and access more resources!

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Filed under Current Events

Matthew 2:1-12

Persians (Iranians)
follow star
worship Jesus

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Filed under Current Events, Six Word Story, Worship

Drones fly

Drones fly
leader dies
world trembles.

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Filed under Current Events, Six Word Story

A discovery

I discovered a new blog today – Death Penalty News. The author states:

I oppose the death penalty in all cases unconditionally regardless of the method chosen to kill the condemned prisoner.

The blog compiles stories about the death penalty from around the world:

The blog provides action ideas – see the article about Sakineh Mohammadi for ways to speak against her possible execution. In the case of Robert Gattis, who faces a January 20 execution date, two online options are available:

Death Penalty News also identifies resources such as Quest for Justice: Defending the Damned, a book by Defense Attorney Richard Jaffe that will appear in February.

I have subscribed to Death Penalty News and look forward to learning more.

And I have taken action on behalf of Sakineh Mohammadi and Robert Gattis. I invite you to do the same.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty

Freedom of expression and association for student leaders

Today’s letter in the Amnesty International’s Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon focused on two student leaders in Iran: Majid Tavakkoli and Behareh Hedayat. Amnesty reports that they have been imprisoned simply for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association. Amnesty notes:

Majid Tavakkoli was arrested and reportedly beaten, after speaking at a university rally in Tehran to mark National Student Day in December 2009.  Behareh Hedayat was arrested later that same month after a video recording of a speech she gave was widely circulated on the internet.

The letter asked for the immediate and unconditional release of Majid Tavakkoli and Behareh Hedayat. It further asked that they should receive access to adequate medical care, including assessment and treatment by an independent specialist outside of prison if necessary. Finally it reminded the Head of Iran’s judiciary of the country’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Sign up to participate in the Write-a-thon.

Find resources for the Write-a-thon, including sample letters to adapt.

Learn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international human rights framework.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Human Rights

Not the answer in Georgia, not the answer in Iran

I sent a fax tonight to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles in Georgia. I wrote on behalf of Marcus Ray Johnson. The state has scheduled his execution next Wednesday. He was convicted of raping and murdering Angela Sizemore. His advocates indicate there are reasons to doubt his guilt. Even if there are not, I would still have sent a fax. I do not believe that putting someone to death is the answer. It is an act that tears the soul of society. It inflicts further wounds. As much as we may feast on the act, we are feasting on ourselves. I grieve for Ms. Sizemore; I tremble at what was done to her – an unspeakable violation. I grieve for those who love her. Yet, killing the person convicted of this crime is not the answer.

I sent an email tonight to the Iranian Embassy. I wrote on behalf of Youcef (or Yousef) Nadarkhani. Pastor Nadarkhani stands convicted of apostasy. CNN reports that he heads “a network of Christian house churches in Iran” and “could be executed as soon as midnight Wednesday in Tehran for refusing to recant his religious beliefs and convert to Islam.” Iran has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 18 of the covenant includes a provision that the “freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief.” On this basis, Iran should halt the execution. But even without the Covenant, capital punishment remains an unacceptable response in this or any situation.

The taking of a life by a state – for whatever reason – is not the answer in Georgia. It is not the answer in Iran. It is simply not the answer.

I faxed. I emailed. Will you join me?

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty, Human Rights