Former Hostage in Iraq: There is No Just War

Former Hostage in Iraq: There is No Just War

Klaus Rösler - October 12, 2007

P r a g u e – Christians should “act peaceably and take a non-violent stand for world peace”. The British peace activist Prof. Dr. Norman Kember (London) called for this during a seminar held by the International Baptist Theological Seminary (IBTS) in Prague. During the first week of October, the Baptist professor showed his presentation entitled "The Cost of Non-Violent Peacemaking" to 60 students, IBTS-staff and local guests there. He also described his own personal experiences. As an observer spending time with a Christian Peacemaker team, he had been taken hostage in Iraq in November 2005 along with three team members, by an Islamist group calling itself “Swords of Righteousness”. He was kept hostage for nearly four months before being freed along with two other Canadian peace activists. Lamentably, the American hostage James Fox (54) was taken away before the hostages were released and was murdered. Kember is a longstanding member of the Baptist Peace Fellowship and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. In the ensuing discussion Kember rejected the theory of a “just war”. In today’s world “just war” is impossible; no current conflict meets its criteria. Kember, who was accompanied by his wife Pat, regards the “just war” concept as obsolete.

IBTS-Rector Rev. Dr. Keith Jones was delighted by the opportunity to have the couple visit his campus. He reminded the listeners that the IBTS-community had prayed regularly for Kember. Rev. Dr. Jones said that it was a very special honour to have the couple participate in the community life of IBTS for a week. During that time Kember had in innumerable discussions stressed the importance of non-violent peacemaking. IBTS assured the couple that they will continue to firmly support peace and reconciliation around the globe.

IBTS is wholly owned and supported by the European Baptist Federation (EBF).