Pastor Testifies about Torture

The Rev. Berlin Guerrero, pastor in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, recently testified before the 42nd Session of the United Nations Committee against Torture. A victim of torture himself, Guerrero said the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is "remiss in its responsibility to prevent torture."

Berlin was abducted on May 27, 2007 and released in September 2008. Presbyterians have a long history of ministry in partnership with the people of the Philippines. Presbyterians, including the Rev. Larry Emery of Walnut Grove Community Church in Sacramento Presbytery played a key role in helping secure Berlin's release. Presbyterians also were present for the abduction and release of Pastor Edwin Egar, earlier this year.

Karapatan, a
human rights group in the Philippines, the National Council of Churches
in the Philippines
, and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,
summary or arbitrary executions have documented numerous cases of human rights abuses including torture, abductions, and extrajudicial killings.

The 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) called Presbyterians to solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Philippines.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program's International Peacemakers Program will bring a team from the Philippines to visit Presbyterians this fall.

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