National Religious Campaign Against Torture | White House Witness June 11 2009

Source : NRCAT

We have some exciting news. NRCAT is organizing a major religious public witness at the White House at Noon on Thursday, June 11 to help launch Torture Awareness Month and bring a strong message to the President about the need for a Commission of Inquiry.

There are already five heads of faith groups and other senior religious leaders who have agreed to join us at the White House on June 11.

They are the Rev. Dr. John Thomas (General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ), Archbishop Vicken Aykazian (Armenian Church in America), Rabbi Steve Gutow (Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs), Dr. Ingrid Mattson (President of the Islamic Society of North America), and the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon (General Secretary of the National Council of Churches). These leaders are helping us to reach out to other senior religious leaders.We are also actively recruiting heads of regional religious bodies (e.g. diocesan bishops and directors of regional Jewish councils) to stand with us on June 11. And the best news is that we have received grant funding to help cover travel costs for these senior regional leaders.

Many of the details remain to be decided (check this webpage for updated info and resources), but we want to get this initial announcement to you right away so that you can build it into your local action plans for Torture Awareness Month.

We need your help to make this a powerful event with the potential to change the course of the debate on investigating U.S.-sponsored torture.
Now is the time.

NRCAT is the sole sponsor of this event so that we have full control of the tone and message to ensure that it is an explicitly religious event with religious ritual and a high degree of gravitas. We hope to have 1000 people of faith, including large numbers of clergy in clerical garb, joining these senior leaders at the White House.

What you can do:

Encourage your regional faith group leaders (e.g., "bishop-level" clergy or a rabbi who serves as director of a regional Jewish council) to travel to DC to participate in this event. Please contact us with information about regional religious leaders who may want to participate in this witness.
Encourage local clergy and people of faith to consider traveling to DC to participate in this witness. Download and copy this flier to help promote the event.

Use this event as a focal point/reference for your local organizing in June by connecting your local activities and media outreach to this national event. For example, consider organizing a local religious witness on June 11, and be sure to inform Members of Congress that any meetings you have with them during the last week of June, to talk about accountability and the Commission of Inquiry, is part of a national effort that includes this witness at the White House.
We look forward to working with you to make this a powerful part of our overall June witness.

Don't forget to order your copy of the 18-minute DVD study resource "Ending U.S.-sponsored Torture Forever." And tell us about your plans for June by completing this brief survey.

Thank you.


Linda Gustitus, President

Rev. Richard L. Killmer, Executive Director

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