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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: president obama

May 7, 2014

Stop the violence in South Sudan

Our colleagues in the Office of Public Witness invite us to join a call for action on South Sudan:

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) is calling on the Obama administration to send former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to South Sudan to help end mass ethnic violence.  Please contact President Obama and urge him to support Rep. Wolf’s call and appoint the former presidents to help bring about a negotiated settlement and an end to the violence engulfing South Sudan.

The conflict is ominously similar to the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago.  Thousands have died in the ...

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May 16, 2013

Hold Sudanese Human Rights Violators Accountable!

From our colleagues in the Office of Public Witness

Ask the State Department to Deny Entry to Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie
 In 1989, Farouk Mohammed Ibrahim, a former science professor at the University of Khartoum, was arrested for his outspoken criticism of the Sudanese government. For twelve days, he was held in one of Sudan’s notorious “ghost houses,” where he was interrogated and tortured. “I was tortured, beaten and flogged in his presence,” Ibrahim toldLA Times reporter Edmund Sanders in 2008. “He was administering the whole thing. He did it all in such a cool manner, as if ...

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September 25, 2012

U.S. commitment to address human trafficking

Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it…

President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012

Our partners at ECPAT-USA issued the following statement in response to President Obama's call:

Learn about the work of the Presbyterian Church's Human Trafficking Roundtable.

Your gifts to the Peacemaking Offering help support Presbyterian efforts to end human trafficking. 

Use a Peacemaking Offering bulletin insert: Human Trafficking: Breaking Down the Walls.

Presbyterian Representative Ryan Smith serves on the ECPAT-USA board.

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March 13, 2012

Praying and acting for wisdom and creative alternatives to war with Iran

What should be done about Iran and their nuclear capability? While some advocate bombing Iran, Presbyterians and other followers of Jesus call for restraint.

On Feb. 21, General Assembly Stated Clerk, the Rev. Gradye Parsons, wrote to President Obama expressing concern. His letter notes that:

“The Christian tradition we share urges us to seek limits to violence and, therefore, requires us to oppose any rush to initiate another war in the Middle East.”

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Office of Public Witness, joined colleagues from seven other churches and faith-based ...

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June 25, 2011

Pray for peace in Jonglei

Jonglei State in southern Sudan is among the regions where violence is taking place.

In this instance, much of the violence is situated in Pibor County. The conflict involves  people of the Murle and Lou Nuer ethnic groups. Cattle raiding and the abduction of children and women are part of the violence. There have been a number of waves of violence in the area in the past.

Reports indicate that the massive numbers of the Murle people have been killed. One estimate is that since the fighting began on 15 June around 900 people have died and that well armed ...

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June 22, 2011

Contact President Obama on Sudan

As Sudan Advocacy Action Forum looks at unfolding events in Sudan, we see this pattern: 

Months ago, the National Congress Party which controls the northern Sudanese government began arming and encouraging dissenting militia groups in Southern Sudan resulting in tribe on tribe and clan on clan assaults on each other. Hundreds, perhaps 2,000 have died and the situation gets worse daily.

Weeks ago, the Sudan Armed Forces (northern Sudan military) drove the Ngok Dinka residents out of Abyei forcibly changing the mix of people there. The fortunate escaped across the River Kiir. Many now are trapped because the bridge has been destroyed.

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May 26, 2011

Help stop the attack in Abyei

Help stop violence in Abyei. Over the weekend the Sudanese Armed Forces bombed and captured the disputed border town of Abyei. This attack is a blatant violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and a reckless provocation in what has long...

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May 16, 2011

It Costs Too Much! The Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Presbyterians Speak Up

Join us for a Webinar on May 27 Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar Seat Now The Obama Administration is pushing to pass the three Free Trade Agreements – Korea, Colombia and Panama – by summer. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)...

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January 2, 2011

Statement by President Obama on the terrorist attacks in Egypt and Nigeria

I strongly condemn the separate and outrageous terrorist bombing attacks in Egypt and Nigeria. The attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities. The perpetrators of...

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December 13, 2010

For the peace of Jerusalem

Send a Christmas card to President Obama. For the Peace of Jerusalem is a national Christian campaign for Israeli-Palestinian peace now. We are calling for valiant U.S. leadership in the peace process and we believe that this peace must be...

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November 12, 2010

Advocacy to end the use of children as soldiers

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joined other religious and human rights groups to contact President Obama last Friday expressing their disappointment with his decision last week to waive sanctions against four countries the State Department has identified as using child soldiers....

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October 21, 2010

Upcoming meeting on cluster munitions

Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro urges States to take part in upcoming meeting on cluster munitions. The First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, will be held in Vientiane,...

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September 4, 2010

To believe a just peace is possible

As direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians begin, the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Rev. Gradye Parsons, sent a letter to President Obama expressing appreciation for the president's work toward a just and peaceful solution to the...

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September 1, 2010

Letter on restarting direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians

Christian leaders, including the heads of denominations, have sent President Obama a letter that supports his efforts to help restart direction negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Among the signers is the Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church...

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August 12, 2010

Ask Obama administration to investigage allegations of CIA torture experiments

From the National Religious Campaign Against Torture: The saga continues for the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) report that provided evidence of unethical and illegal medical experiments by the CIA on U.S.-held detainees. The Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP)...

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July 31, 2010

Urge Your Senators to Support the START Treaty and Reduce Nuclear Dangers

We have been encouraging support for the START agreement between the United States and Russia. Here is another take on that topic from our colleagues in the Presbyterian Washington Office History of the START agreement The original START agreement between...

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June 24, 2010

National call about oil spill

From Eco-Journey, the blog of our colleagues in the Environmental Ministries Office. Tyler Edgar with the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program sent the following invitation to a conference call about the Gulf Oil Spill.On July 1 at 3pm Eastern...

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May 21, 2010

START at the State Department

This State Department is providing information on the New START Treaty that is regularly updated with new material from the Obama administration.

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May 13, 2010

Toward A Nuclear-Free World: Webinar on the New START Treaty

May 19 program with Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller To participate, go to on at 9 a.m. EDT on May 19. Please join the U.S. chief negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, who will discuss the recent...

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April 25, 2010

Working for a world free of nuclear weapons

The Peacemaking Team at First Presbyterian Church of Bend, Oregon has engaged in advocacy supporting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The team developed a statement calling for the ratification of the treaty and then invited members of the faith...

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April 12, 2010

Next steps after START

Urge your Senators to declare publicly their support for speedy action on the new START treaty. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has long supported securing nuclear materials from terrorists and reducing the number of nuclear armaments. For decades the General Assembly...

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April 8, 2010

It's a START

President Obama of the United States and President Medvedev of Russia will meet in Prague, Czech Republic, today to sign a new strategic arms control agreement. In the United States, the treaty will go to the Senate which must ratify...

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March 30, 2010

Face the displaced: Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia

Barranquilla, Colombia Here's the ask: Participate in the Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia. This year's focus is on Colombians who are internally displaced. Here's the background: Those of us who have gathered to discuss the Colombia Accompaniment Program,...

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March 26, 2010


President Obama announced that the United States and Russia have agreed to a new treaty limiting each country "to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the Treaty enters into force." Plans are to sign the treaty...

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March 25, 2010

A breakthrough on nuclear weapons

The Associated Press reports that: "the U.S. and Russia have reached agreements for a historic new treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals." The treaty will require ratification in the United States Senate and would represent a significant step toward a...

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February 24, 2010

Reduce nuclear weapons, hunger and poverty

With one email, letter, phone call, or visit, you can call for a step that would help reduce nuclear weapons, hunger and poverty. Urge your representative to support H Res 278. It is especially important to contact members serving on...

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February 22, 2010

Call for abolition of nuclear weapons

Sign a petition to President Obama calling for efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. On April 5th President Obama pledged the United States to demonstrate leadership for nuclear disarmament and abolition. Sign a petition calling the president to make good on...

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February 18, 2010

Urge President Obama to address humanitarian needs in Gaza

Sign a letter urging President Obama to work address humanitarian needs in Gaza. Churches for Middle East Peace is coordinating this effort to ask the United States to work for peace. A recent report by international aid organizations notes that...

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February 11, 2010

Support the elimination of nuclear weapons

President Obama is currently making critical decisions about U.S. nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is expected to be completed by March 1, and will be the basis for United States nuclear policy for years to come. Write to...

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January 18, 2010

National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Insisting that fighting modern-day slavery is a shared responsibility President Barack Obama urged all Americans to educate themselves on the signs and consequences of human trafficking, declaring January to be National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Work on human trafficking is...

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January 15, 2010

Call for A Comprehensive Response to the Catastrophe in Haiti

This advocacy opportunity comes from the Presbyterian Washington Office. Call on the Obama administration to respond to the earthquake in Haiti in a comprehensive way.Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Haiti. We urge the U.S. government and...

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January 10, 2010

A world free of nuclear weapons

Sign a petition to President Obama for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Last April, speaking in Prague, President Obama pledged that the United States would exercise leadership "to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Other...

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October 9, 2009

Can the Senate catch up with the Church?

Help eliminate nuclear weapons. Recognizing the threat they pose to God's sovereignty and to the people and earth so loved by God, General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have long addressed questions related to nuclear weapons.[PDF] In 1969, the...

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September 30, 2009

Call for strong U.S. leadership II

Churches for Middle East Peace offers an opportunity to join the call for strong U.S. leadership to achieve toward a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Prominent Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other leaders issued a statement on...

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September 26, 2009

A World Free from Nuclear Weapons

On September 24, the U.N. Security Council, in a meeting chaired by by President Obama, took a huge step towards realizing the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons. The most powerful countries in the U.N. reaffirmed their commitment...

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September 25, 2009

Call for strong U.S. leadership

Prominent Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other leaders issued a statement on September 22 calling for strong U.S. leadership [PDF] to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The statement was drafted by Churches for Middle East...

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September 4, 2009

WMD - We Must Disarm

The International Day of Peace, observed each year on 21 September, is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. This year the Secretary-General is calling on governments and citizens to focus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. On 13 June 2009,...

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August 23, 2009

Abolish nuclear weapons

"We believe that lasting peace requires the elimination and prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction. We agree that negotiations for the elimination of such weapons should be predicated on an adequate arrangement for international inspection and control." (PCUSA -...

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August 21, 2009

Health care reform conference call

If you were not among the 140,000 people of faith who took part in the conference call about health care reform that took place on August 20 with President Obama, you can listen to the call for the first time...

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August 19, 2009

Don't forget

The conference call on health care reform for the faith community and President Obama happens today: 5:00 p.m. Eastern / 4:00 p.m. Central / 3:00 p.m. Mountain / 2:00 p.m. Pacific. The goal of the call is to connect and...

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August 14, 2009

Recent posts on health care by Swords into Plowshares

Here are links to several posts on the Swords into Plowshares blog that focus on health care and health care reform: Health Care Call with President contains information about an August 19 conference call for people of faith with President...

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August 8, 2009

Pray for Sudan, August 28-30

The people of Sudan have experienced conflict for years. Across the country, lives have been lost, communities scattered, people displaced. Steps toward peace have been made. The situation remains fragile. Our sisters and brothers in Sudan need our prayer at...

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August 8, 2009

Moved By Faith: A Call for Peace in Sudan

Here is a letter to President Barack Obama on behalf of peace in Sudan. Please send this letter to the President. For email, copy the letter below; go to the web form provided by the Presbyterian Church’s Washington Office; check...

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July 27, 2009

Act now for peace for Israel/Palestine

The following invitation to engage in advocacy on behalf of a just peace for Israel and Palestine during the summer Congressional recess comes from the July 21, 2009 Witness in Washington Weekly (PDF) by the Presbyterian Washington Office. Following President...

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July 25, 2009

Pray for the Philippines

President Barack Obama will host a visit from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines this week. Recognizing the human rights abuses that have occurred in the Philippines in recent years, a Prayer Vigil (PDF) will take place in Washington, DC...

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July 17, 2009

Ten against Torture

Send a letter to President Obama that speaks against torture. President Obama reads 10 hand-picked letters every day to get a glimpse of what's on people's minds and in their hearts. With that in mind, Amnesty International has compiled powerful...

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July 10, 2009

Toward a world free of nuclear weapons

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has long envisioned a world without nuclear weapons [PDF] . Could it be that the nations of the world are beginning to live into that vision? Recent events bring us to another...

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June 23, 2009

Support bold action for Holy Land peace

Join major Christian leaders from Catholic, Evangelical, Protestant, Orthodox and historic African-American traditions who have come together to declare their support for bold U.S. action and to call for meaningful progress to achieve a just and lasting two-state peace. More...

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June 7, 2009

Seek peace in the Middle East

President Obama's visit to Cairo and Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Washington have again focused the attention of the world on the Middle East. Churches for Middle East Peace offer the opportunity to sign an ecumenical letter to President Obama...

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May 30, 2009

American leadership on Middle East peace

Has your Representative signed the Cohen-Boustany-Carnahan letter? This letter from Representatives to President Obama urges support of strong American leadership on Middle East peace. The sign on date has been extended to June 2. There are currently 63 signers. View...

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May 25, 2009

Support U.S. action on Middle East peace

Churches for a Middle East Peace invites us to send an email to President Obama. Let him know that American Christians support robust U.S. diplomacy to establish a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel and foster a more peaceful and secure...

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April 26, 2009

Call for a Commission of Inquiry

From the National Religious Coalition against Torture (the links have been added): In response to statements by Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Diane Feinstein that a Commission of Inquiry investigating the use of torture should not be established until...

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April 22, 2009

A Commission of Inquiry - Join the Call

Join the call for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate U.S. torture policies and practices. A critical moment in the effort to stop the use of torture by the United States appears to have arrived. On April 16, 2009, the...

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April 11, 2009

Pursue peace for Israelis and Palestinians

Churches for Middle East Peace invites messages to President Obama thanking him for his strong support for a two-state solution and for making clear that both Israel and the Palestinians have responsibilities in the pursuit of peace. In our messages,...

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April 7, 2009

Call your Senators for a world without nuclear weapons

"Today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." President Barack Obama, Prague, April 5, 2009 President Obama cannot do this alone. He needs our support. Please call...

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April 6, 2009

A world without nukes

In a joint statement released after their recent meeting in London, President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation and President Barack Obama of the United States of America addressed nuclear weapons. "As leaders of the two largest nuclear weapons states,...

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March 19, 2009

Sudan: Quick takes

The Sudan Advocacy Action Forum has posted new prayers and prayer concerns for Sudan. President Obama has appointed a special envoy for Sudan.

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February 12, 2009

Advocate for Sudan

The New York Times reported last night that the judges of the International Criminal Court have decided to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Advocates for the people of Sudan note that this marks a step toward...

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February 5, 2009

Major Cuts in Nuclear Weapons on the Table?

An article posted on the Times Online reports that President Obama plans to convene talks with Russia aimed at reducing each country's nuclear weapons' stockpile. And the reduction could be significant. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation provides an opportunity to...

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January 31, 2009

Executive Order on Torture

On Thursday, January 22, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order that stops the CIA’s abuse of detainees, closes U.S. secret prisons, ends rendition for torture, and provides the International Committee of the Red Cross with access to U.S.-held detainees....

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