Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Third Annual Christian Peace Witness for Iraq

Wednesday, 28 April 2009, 7 p.m. at the Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.  Make plans now to attend the third annual event of ecumenical worship and activism by Christian Peace Witness for Iraq.  Originally formed to bring church pressure on Congress and then-President Bush to end the Iraq War, CPW is now focusing on keeping pressure on Congress and President Obama to speed up the end of the U.S. Occupation and to bring ALL the U.S. troops home.

The 7 p.m. worship and witness follows events at National City Church earlier in the day:  an Opening Convocation at 1:30-2:30 p.m. and nonviolence training at 2:30 p.m.  Then, on Thursday 29 April 2009  at 9 a.m. there will be a witness and nonviolent action at the Capitol. 

For the Wednesday night event, featured speakers include:

  • Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo, retired professor of sociology at Eastern University in Philadelphia, Associate Pastor, Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia (a mostly African-American congregation, though Campolo is white), noted author and evangelist, founder and President of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education; gadfly, social critic, progressive evangelical social activist.
  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood,  Jr., Minister, community activist, President of Hip Hop Caucus, and U.S. Air Force Reservist.
  • Sr. Dianna Ortiz, Catholic nun (and Louisville native), former missionary to Guatemala, U.S. born torture survivor in Guatemala (Sr. Ortiz was tortured during Guatemala’s military dictatorship during the ’80s.  Though she was blindfolded, she insists her torturers were supervised by an American who was identified as a CIA agent.), Founder of Torture Abolition and Survivors’ Support Coalition International. (I met Sr. Ortiz in the late ’80s shortly after she was released and returned to the U.S. She worked then with Kentucky Interfaith Taskforce on Latin America and the Caribbean [KITLAC].)
  • Elizabeth McAlister, former nun, peace activist and co-founder of Jonah House, an intentional Christian Community.
  • Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., Catholic priest, biblical scholar, poet, and peace activist.

Worship that evening will be followed by a processional to the White House.

At the website of Christian Peace Witness for Iraq one can also find their Open Letter to President Obama and suggestions for holding similar events around the country if one cannot travel to D.C. for this event.

February 14, 2009 - Posted by | Iraq, nonviolence, peacemaking


  1. So ‘peace’ is just a code word for opposing current U.S. policy no matter how effective? Peace is slowly coming in Iraq despite groups such as this. Does a group like this (do you/)spend time considering what would have occured had they been listened to two years ago?

    How about concentrating on places in the world where there is less peace and no one else cares? Oh yeah, no media attention if you do that, I guess. “Peace now” must equal “Cameras roll”

    Comment by Ben | February 15, 2009

  2. Ben, this is wrong. Peace does NOT mean opposing U.S. policy no matter what it is. But the measure is justice and peace, not “effectiveness.” Nazism was “effective” and Bush’s America came close to becoming fascist. Yes, we ponder what would have happened had we been listened to 2 years ago–and what would have happened had we been listened to prior to the invasion.

    And working to end one war does not mean we don’t ALSO focus on “the forgotten wars.” In fact, one of the great tragedies of the early 21st C, is that the Bush Wars have kept Christian peacemakers (and other peacemakers) from being able to do more for other places. But “peace now” does NOT equal “cameras roll,”–we do most of our work in obscurity. But we are used to being distorted and defamed, too.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | February 15, 2009

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