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Pray-Study-Act: Remembering Iraq
In This Issue
PRAY: Universal Peace Prayer
STUDY: Iraq After Us, a podcast
ACT: Remembering Iraq in your Good Friday Way of the Cross actions

On The Web

 "Will They Know Me Back Home:" A This American Life podcast focusing on returning U.S. soldiers and the story of an Iraqi civilian


The cost of Iraq reconstruction and an article on rebuilding Iraq


 Latest interview in a series from IPS focusing on Islamophobia 


Democracy Now on the protests marking the 8 year anniversary of the war in Iraq

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March 23, 2011


This past week marked the 8th anniversary of the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq. With the cessation of "combat operations" in Iraq and the withdrawal of the larger part of the U.S. military force from that country last year, Iraq has receded from view in many ways, with the war in Afghanistan, economic issues, and now the violence in Libya attracting most of our attention. 


But the suffering endured during that war goes on in the lives of Iraqis, U.S. soldiers who fought there, and the families on both sides who live with the legacy of having lost the ones they loved to the violence.
Kids near rubble in Iraq
Kids near rubble in Iraq, photo by Linda Panetta,

We invite you to take some time this week and reflect on this war and the suffering and brokenness of untold millions who were its victims. The terrible legacy of this war will go on, but perhaps we can craft another legacy--that this war mobilized us to work harder, to be more committed, and to do everything in our power to turn the tide when our leaders want to drag us into that abyss again. With Pope John Paul II, and in response to the debacle that was the Iraq War, we say "Never again war."


In Peace,


Johnny Zokovitch

Director of National Field Operations, Pax Christi USA

PRAY: Universal Peace Prayer

Lead us death to life,

from falsehood to truth.

Lead us from despair to hope,

from fear to trust.

Lead us from hate to love,

from war to peace.

Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.

STUDY: Iraq After Us, a podcast

From the radio show "This American Life"


Operation Iraqi Freedom is over. And the next chapter of Iraq is being written now. But what actually happened there the last seven years? Producer Nancy Updike and reporter Larry Kaplow spent a month in Iraq talking to Iraqis and Americans about the war that tore the country apart, and what's happening as we try to put it back together..


Click here to be directed to the page for this podcast, then click on the "Play Episode" link to listen. 

ACT: Good Friday Way of the Cross

Each year on Good Friday, Pax Christi USA groups from around the nation plan "Stations of the Cross," praying publicly for an end to war, an end to injustice and oppression, an end to violence and greed. If your group is planning Stations for this year's Good Friday observance, include remembering the suffering of all those affected by the war in Iraq as one of your stations. 


If you or your group has not undertaken a Stations of the Cross in this manner before, consider doing so. The stations can take place in a public manner, praying at particular areas in your city which represent the suffering of Christ today. They can also take place in a more traditional manner in your church, incorporating language at each of the stations which call to mind the connection between the sufferings of Christ in his passion and the suffering of so many of our brothers and sisters today due to war, poverty, violence, illness, etc. 


At the beginning of April, on our Lent 2011 page on Pax Christi USA's website, we will post several resources for conducting Stations of the Cross in your community. Start your planning now and make sure to include Iraq in your prayers this year.