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Religious Leaders Arrive in Iraq for NCC-Led Humanitarian Mission

December 30, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq  --  Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (U.S.A.), has arrived in Baghdad, Iraq, with 12 religious leaders and experts.  On their first day (Dec. 30), the group has visited Ibn Al Baladi hospital, the Abi Hanifa Mosque, the Syrian Catholic Church and the Iraqi Red Crescent Society.

This mission is part of a series of visits by the faith community to the region and follows upon a recent trip by the Catholic organization, Pax Christi.

WHO:

Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of Churches (U.S.A.)
Dr. Huw Anwyl, Minister, United Church of Christ
Rev. Ray Buchanan, President, Stop Hunger Now and United Methodist Minister
Rev. John Buehrens, former President, the Unitarian Universalist Association
Rev. Dr. Robert Evans, Executive Director, Plowshares Institute, Presbyterian Pastor
Robin Hoeker, Legislative Assistant, Unitarian Universalist Association
Dr. Victor Makari, General Assembly staff, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Don Mosley, co-founder of Jubilee Partners
Ginger Paul, Episcopal Church, Executive Committee
Dr. Samer Shehata, Assistant Professor of Arab Politics, Georgetown University
Bishop Melvin Talbert (retired), The United Methodist Church
Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour, General Secretary, Middle East Council of Churches (host)

WHAT: Religious Leaders Humanitarian Mission to Iraq

WHEN: December 30-January 2, Baghdad, Iraq (+8 hours from EST)

IRAQ ITINERARY (TENTATIVE)

Monday, December 30
Ibn Al Baladi Hospital
Visit at Abi Hanifa Mosque
Syrian Catholic Church
Iraqi Red Crescent Society

Tuesday, December 31
8:30 AM - Visit to the Hatem Al Taai school near the Al Kahera Shelter
11:00 AM - Meeting and tour of Saddam Pediatric and Maternity Hospital
3:30PM - Discussion with UNICEF officials
5:00PM - Visit to the Syrian Orthodox Bishop Hawaa
8:00 PM - Service at the Caldenian Church of St. Mary, Metropolitan Schlimoun, Warduni/Palestinian Street
10:00 PM - Celebration at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Andulles Square

Wednesday, January 1
The delegation will visit historical sites on the holiday (Babylon)
Karbala (Shi’ite holy site)

Thursday, January 2
Meeting with NGO’s and UN organizations
Press Conference at Melia Mansour

Friday, January 3
Delegation unavailable, returning to the US at John F. Kennedy Airport via Royal Jordanian Airlines at 4PM from Amman, Jordan.

-end-

MEDIA CONTACT:

Trevor Fitzgibbon, Fenton Communications in Washington, DC -- trevor@fenton.com

 


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