Pax Christi express joy and thanksgiving at hostage release

 Pax Christi issued the following statement this morning: It is with joy and relief that we heard today of the release of Norman Kember, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden in Baghdad. We give thanks for their safety and for the fact that no person was harmed during their release. We remember and pray for the family of Tom Fox who was held with our friends until his murder on 10th March. We know that the work of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, with their commitment to the people of Iraq and in particular Iraqi detainees will continue and we greatly value this work. Since our friends were taken on 26th November 2005 there has been an outpouring of goodwill, prayer and solidarity from people of all faiths in the UK and beyond and of much valued cooperation with member of the Muslim community. This has been one of the positive outcomes of this sad and difficult experience. It shows that many people have understood the nature of their peace-work and presence in Iraq and of the need to continue to speak up and witness for peace for the Iraqi people. We hope that our friends will be given the time and space they need to be reunited with their families and come to terms with their experience. We look forward to the time when we can celebrate with Norman and his family. -- Following news of the rescue, the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, said: "I am delighted at the news that Norman has been rescued unhurt." In a statement, CTBI said: "Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has heard with great joy the news of Norman Kember's release. Norman Kember, James Loney, Harmeet Singh Sooden and Tom Fox were captured in Baghdad on 26 Nov 2005, having gone to Iraq with the Christian Peacemakers Team. We honour their courage in going to Iraq to be with the people in their suffering and we commend their courage in witnessing the plight of Iraqi detainees. We commit ourselves to the cause of peace for all people in the region to which Norman Kember is so dedicated. We also remember with sadness the death of Tom Fox on 10 March. "

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