Baghdad -- Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (U.S.A.), has arrived in Baghdad, Iraq, with 12 religious leaders and experts. The Iraq itinerary includes meetings with heads of local churches and mosques, the Red Crescent Society, and other agencies operating in the area. The group will also conduct field visits to local hospitals and schools. This mission is part of a series of visits by the faith community to the region and follows upon a recent trip by the Catholic organization, Pax Christi.
On their first day, the group has visited Ibn Al Baladi hospital, the Abi Hanifa Mosque, the Syrian Catholic Church and the Iraqi Red Crescent Society. Itinerary details follow.
WHO: Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of Churches (U.S.A.) Dr. Huw Anwyl, Minister, United Churches of Christ Rev. Ray Buchanan, President, Stop Hunger Now and United Methodist Minister Rev. John Buehrens, former President, the Unitarian Universalist Association Rev. Dr. Robert Evans, Executive Director, Plowshares Institute, Presbyterian Pastor Robin Hoeker, Legislative Assistant, Unitarian Universalist Association Dr. Victor Makari, General Assembly staff, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Don Mosley, co-founder of Jubilee Partners Ginger Paul, Episcopal Church, Executive Committee Dr. Samer Shehata, Assistant Professor of Arab Politics, Georgetown University Bishop Melvin Talbert (retired), The United Methodist Church Jim Winkler, General Secretary, the General Board, United Methodist Church Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour, General Secretary, Middle East Council of Churches (host)
IRAQ ITINERARY (TENTATIVE)
Monday, December 30
Ibn Al Baladi Hospital Visit at Abi Hanifa Mosque Syrian Catholic Church Iraqi Red Crescent Society
Tuesday, December 31 8:30 AM
Visit to the Hatem Al Taai school near the Al Kahera Shelter 11:00 AM Meeting and tour of Saddam Pediatric and Maternity Hospital 3:30PM Discussion with UNICEF officials 5:00PM Visit to the Syrian Orthodox Bishop Hawaa 8:00 PM Service at the Caldenian Church of St. Mary, Metropolitan Schlimoun Warduni/Palestinian Street 10:00 PM Celebration at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Andulles Square
Wednesday, January 1
The delegation will visit historical sites on the holiday (Babylon) Karbala (Shiite holy site)
Thursday, January 2
Meeting with NGOs and UN organizations Press Conference at Melia Mansour
Friday, January 3
Delegation unavailable, returning to the US at John F. Kennedy Airport via Royal Jordanian Airlines at 4PM from Amman, Jordan.
By Albert H. Lee