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Issue Date:  November 9, 2007

Faith groups hold screenings of anti-torture film

As part of a new initiative led by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, houses of worship nationwide are sponsoring more than 500 screenings of a documentary investigating U.S. maltreatment of detainees.

Jewish, Muslim and Christian congregations in all 50 states will view HBO’s “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib” and participate in a nationwide “Spotlight on Torture.” The documentary, released earlier this year, is directed by Rory Kennedy, the youngest child of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

“The ‘Spotlight on Torture’ initiative is about faith congregations ... speaking with one voice to say that torture is always wrong,” the Rev. Richard Killmer, executive director of the anti-torture campaign, said in a statement. “The moral prohibition against torture in all of our religions is clear.”

Screenings will take place at a Baptist church in North Carolina, a synagogue in Connecticut and mosques in Iowa, among other venues, according to the anti-torture campaign. Iraq war veterans and family members are expected to attend, the campaign said.

“Not only is torture wrong, but young men and women from our country who are in places of conflict like Afghanistan or Iraq are profoundly affected by these abhorrent policies that condone torture -- it puts them at even greater risk,” said Linda Gustitus, the anti-torture campaign’s president.

Some 130 religious groups have joined the campaign, and more than 18,000 people have signed a “statement of conscience” emphasizing that torture is a moral issue, according to the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

For more information about the campaign, visit

-- Religion News Service

National Catholic Reporter, November 9, 2007

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