Public Witness on Torture—June 11, Washington, DC

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) will sponsor a religious public witness at the White House on June 11 about noon to help launch Torture Awareness Month and bring a message about the urgent need for a Commission of Inquiry to the President. More details will be coming soon.

 

The event will be led by heads of faith groups and other senior leaders including Rev. Dr. John Thomas (General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ), Archbishop Vicken Aykazian (Armenian Church of America), and Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon (General Secretary of the National Council of Churches).  Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America, is also planning to be with us but is caring for an ailing family member so not able to make a firm commitment.

 

Many of the details of this witness are still to be negotiated in the coming days, but is being released now because our help is needed to make it a powerful event with the potential to change the course of the debate on investigating U.S.-sponsored torture.

 

There will be a press conference with the senior religious leaders at the National Press Club in the late morning, followed by a procession to the White House where it is hoped that there will be as many as 1000 people of faith, including large numbers of clergy in clerical garb, participating in a public witness in front of the White House.  Use of visuals and rituals to give powerful expression to the message is under consideration, but the event is intended to have an explicitly religious tone.

 

While the general theme will be the need for accountability, the specific message will focus on a Commission of Inquiry since that’s the concrete step the President can take.

 

Please consider traveling to DC to participate in this event. If you believe you will be able to do this, please contact s.strauss@pachurches.org.

 

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