Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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NRCAT Urges in Congress: Close Guantanamo!

May 10th, 2013

nrcat_logo smA Congressional Briefing, broadcast on C-SPAN, offers important information about the realities at Guantanamo and how the President can move forward with closing the prison there.  We encourage you to watch it.  The briefing is hosted by Rep. Jim Moran and is sponsored by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), The Constitution Project, and the New America Foundation. The Oblate JPIC Office is a member of NRCAT.

The situation at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center continues to deteriorate.  Eleven years after it first opened, and more than 4 years after President Obama mandated its closure, there are still 166 men being held at Guantanamo – 86 of whom have already been cleared for transfer or release.  Currently, 100 of the detainees, responding to a growing sense of hopelessness and despair over their continued detention, in most cases without charge or trial, are engaged in a prolonged hunger strike.

Last week, 38 religious leaders sent a letter to President Obama and to Congress calling for the closing of the detention center.  Please add your name to theirs by also signing the letter.  The letter states, “As people of faith, we oppose torture and indefinite detention without trial because they are contrary to the inherent dignity of the human person. As the nation’s most visible and painful symbol of torture and indefinite detention, Guantanamo Bay is a constant reminder of a deep moral wound that will heal only when it is permanently closed.”

Help NRCAT build support for closing Guantanamo within your community.  Here are two ways you can get involved: Join in the 100th Day Weekend of Action
May 17th, which will mark the 100th day of the hunger strike. We invite you and your congregation to mark this day with a “100th Day Weekend of Action.”  Please find a time during the weekend of May 17-19 to include mention of Guantanamo in your worship service or prayers.  We also invite you to hold a prayer vigil, fast in solidarity, or organize educational and advocacy activities in your congregation.

To assist you, NRCAT has prepared a Guantanamo Fact Sheet, Sermon Talking Points and a Bulletin Insert with an Interfaith Prayer.  Go to www.nrcat/closegitmo for more information.

You can also download a petition version of the Religious Leaders’ letter and circulate it in your congregation, campus or community. Thank you for lifting up the importance of closing Guantanamo.

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