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U.S. Newswire
10 Dec 12:55

Barbara Lee Addresses Growing Interfaith Peace Movement

To: City Desk
Contact: Kerry Riley of Interfaith Communities United for Justice
and Peace, 626-683-9004 or 626-683-9400

S ANGELES, Dec. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) addressed nearly 1000 members of a growing faith-based peace movement at an interfaith worship service Sunday at the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City.

The service featured invocations by members of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Native American and Bahai International Spiritual Center and long time civil rights activist Rev. James Lawson also took part in the service.

The event was one in a series organized by Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP), a local coalition of more than 80 religious and secular organizations from many faith traditions. The coalition came together after the September 11th terrorist attacks to promote interfaith unity and alternatives to war. It is one of the largest and fastest growing pan-faith peace coalitions in the United States.

ICUJP's basic premise is that faith-based communities have a crucial role in fostering peace and justice, and that organized religion must stop blessing war. This premise is gaining credibility. The coalition's previous service was attended by more
than 800 people, and featured actor Martin Sheen and Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-Culver City).

Congresswoman Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the resolution authorizing President Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone associated with the terrorist attacks of September 11. I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States," said Lee of her vote.

Members of the coalition agree, stating that while the war in Afghanistan has resulted in unknown numbers of civilian casualties, it has done very little to change the conditions that foster terrorism.

"The fall of the Taliban has not made us any safer from terrorist attack," said Lisa Smithline, a member of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace and the Agape International Spiritual Center. "This movement is growing because people are recognizing that our safety depends on fundamental changes in policy that address the roots of terrorism."

©Copyright 2001, U.S. Newswire

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