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U.S. churches join UN call to end torture

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While the international community banned torture through the International Bill of Human Rights in 1948, the practice continues worldwide.

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At least 81 countries had documented cases of torture and "other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" in 2007, according to Amnesty International.
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The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) based in Copenhagen, Denmark estimates there are 400,000 torture survivors living in the European Union while the Center for Victims of Torture in Minneapolis, Minnesota estimates there are 500,000 torture survivors in the United States.

The IRCT has produced an animation "Let's erase torture" calling for the eradication of torture worldwide and in tandem with the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26.
The U.S. faith community has become increasingly vocal in its call for an end to torture.

"It is crucial for people of faith to remind the President that the United Methodist Book of Discipline clearly states that "the mistreatment or torture of persons by governments for any purpose violates Christian teaching and must be condemned and/or opposed by Christians and churches wherever and whenever it occurs," according to a statement from the United Methodist Church (UMC).


"Torture has to stop throughout the world, but the United States is unable to effectively lead the fight against such brutality until the U.S. has repented of engaging in actions of torture," states UMC.

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture  has organized a "public witness" against torture involving 300 congregations in all 50 states for the month of June. 

Church leaders across the country have come out more aggressively this past year in urging their congregations to pressure the U.S. government to end torture on moral grounds.

"The church should be loyal to the deepest values of our country," said Dallas, Texas Rev. William McElvaney , professor emeritus at the Perkins School of Theology, speaking on the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. "No one relishes going up against the White House, but the church should be loyal to the deepest values of our country. And sometimes that means opposing the actions of a particular administration."


Kathlyn Stone is a Minnesota-based writer covering science and medicine, health care and related policies.-She publishes, a health and science news site.

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Our leaders are regressing!http://thereport.amnest... by Kathlyn Stone on Monday, Jun 23, 2008 at 7:41:00 PM
When good people remain silent, bad people who mas... by Ruth on Monday, Jun 23, 2008 at 8:06:05 PM
And the comment.Many more people are speaking out ... by Kathlyn Stone on Monday, Jun 23, 2008 at 8:29:02 PM
thanks for posting this article, Kathlyn.  ... by Rady Ananda on Monday, Jun 23, 2008 at 8:32:54 PM
Thanks for the comment.... by Kathlyn Stone on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 8:24:10 AM
Thanks for a great research!  There is finall... by Nathan Nahm on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 12:27:52 AM
they should at least support the core princip... by Kathlyn Stone on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 8:30:04 AM
   I know a lot of UMC clergy and i... by vidiot on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 9:41:49 AM
The fact that my country (USA) uses torture is suf... by Philip Pease on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 10:33:03 AM
In less than five months this country has another ... by Kathlyn Stone on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 1:08:35 PM
You'll never get the bloodthirsty Southern Bap... by Archie on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 1:15:38 PM
You shouldn't lump all churches into one baske... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 1:35:21 PM


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