Four members of the Christian Peacemaker Team have been kidnapped by a heretofore unknown group, the Swords of Righteousness. The group has said they will kill the 4 this Thursday, December 8, if all prisoners in Iraq are not released by then.
Two local churches - Columbus Mennonite Church and North Broadway UMC - will be hosting a vigil tomorrow (Wednesday, December 7th), the eve of the possible executions. We will be at the corner of North Broadway and High Street from 5 to 5:30 p.m. At 5:30 we will proceed to Columbus Mennnonite Church - which is on Oakland Park, just one block north of North Broadway, and one block east of High Street, where there will be a vigil through the evening.

The Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq has been there since 2002. They were part of the "human shield" that sought to stop the bombing of civilian sites, as the war began. Since then their primary mission has been in the area of support for prisoners, released persons, and their families, as well as getting word out of genuine conditions on the ground. Because of their contacts in the communities, they were the group that first alerted the American press to the torture of prisoners at Abu Garib.

Christian Peacemakers Teams are at work in Columbia and in Palestine, specifically in the divided city of Hebron. They have been a remarkable presence of peace and solidarity in that divided city.

Since the 4 were taken hostage, the leaders and peoples of Palestine have come out in force asking for the release of the hostages. I find this an extremely moving show of inter-faith solidarity, and include press coverage below of that. Also Muslim detainees in Canada have issued a letter to the captors calling for their release. That is at the bottom of this page.

You can go to for complete transcriptions in Arabic or to the website for updates, or to add letters for the captives release.

Let us keep one another, and Tom Fox, Norman Kember, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden, and the people of Iraq in our prayers. Let us pray that the hearts of their captors would be softened, that they would listen to the wisdom of the world, particularly their Muslim brothers and sisters.
Grace and peace to you all,
Patricia Wagner