Pax Christi USA - PSA e-Bulletin
Pray-Study-Act: June is Torture Awareness Month 
In This Issue
PRAY: Jesus, Our Tortured Brother Today
STUDY: Stories from Torture Survivors
ACT: Ideas for marking Torture Awareness Month
On The Web

Read Pax Christi USA's 2006 statement on torture 


 Read "The Blindfold's Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth", by PCUSA Teacher of Peace Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU


 Support the "Close Guantanamo" campaign through Witness Against Torture


Share our brochure on the death penalty, "Sentenced to Die, Still Children of God," by displaying at your church, school, etc.


For other reflections and resources on torture, click here

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June 3, 2015


"Christ's disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of (humanity) is as much debased in (the) torturer as in the torturer's victim." 

~Pope John Paul II

Stop torture

In 2006, we opened our statement on torture with this quote, going on to state unequivocally that "Pax Christi USA, as a movement committed to creating a world that reflects the peace of Christ, firmly believes that torture violates the basic human dignity held at the core of the Catholic faith and international law, and can never be considered morally acceptable under any circumstances."
  Each June, Pax Christi USA joins with our partners and encourages all of our groups and individual members to observe Torture Awareness Month. This month we work together to abolish the abhorrent and immoral practice of torture, to listen to the voices of torture survivors, and to educate ourselves, our churches, our communities and our nation on issues pertaining to torture. 
   We hope you'll find the resources in this Pray-Study-Act e-bulletin helpful in your efforts to raise awareness about torture and work for its abolition.


In peace,


Johnny Zokovitch

Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA

PRAY: Jesus, Our Tortured Brother Today

by Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace


Jesus, our Tortured Brother,
In this world, so many are forced to walk your path today -
the suffering and pain, the humiliation, 

sense of betrayal and abandonment,
for those with power, the Romans of today, 

continue to condemn others to modern crosses.


You said that what was done to the least of these was done to you, and so each day, You are tortured anew.


Jesus, our Guardian of the Wounded and Tortured,
Bid us to look into the secret prisons--the unmarked graves--

the hearts and minds of the torture survivors,
Bid us to wipe the tears of the families of those whose
decapitated bodies were cast into the open sea,
Bid us to embrace the open wounds of the tortured.


Jesus, Guiding Spirit,
Teach us to be in solidarity with those who hang from these crosses,
Call out to those who torture,

"Know the evil you have done and repent."
Call out to the rest of us, 

"What meaning does love have 

if you allow torture to continue unopposed?"


In the name of all the tortured of the world, give us the strength, give us the courage, give us the will to bring this horror to an end, 

in the name of love, justice, and the God of us all. Amen.


This prayer card is available through the Pax Christi USA Store. Click here for more info or to order.

STUDY: Stories from torture survivors

from the Torture Abolition & Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC)


One of the aspects of the mission of TASSC is to empower survivors. On their website, they offer in video and text some of the stories of torture survivors:


"One beautiful morning, I was sitting with writers and poets at a coffee shop. Suddenly a group of men showed up. They looked like gang members. And they said to me, "We invite you to have coffee... just 10 minutes." And I was a journalist. In Lebanon I wrote a report about the desert prisons in Egypt, Syria and Iraq. Because of that, the Syrian Intelligence kidnapped me and took me from Beirut to Damascus. I was tortured for 100 days..." 



Ideas for marking Torture Awareness Month

from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT)


The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) invites you, and your local church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or faith community, to join people of faith throughout the world in commemorating Torture Awareness Month.


Click here to see ideas and activities for observance throughout this month.