June Marks National Campaign to End Torture

HNP Communications Around the Province

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is raising awareness for its cause by making June the month for its Banners Across America campaign. 

The group is asking congregations to join in a public witness against torture by displaying a banner outside churches during June. Banners can either be ordered online (www.tortureisamoralissue.org) or made locally. If ordered online, they come in two sizes and designs and offer a customization option to add the name of the church. The cost ranges from $100 to $175, including shipping. Churches can also purchase a banner from a local sign-making store or resource. 

Russell Testa of the Province’s Office of Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation is treasurer of NRCAT. 

A congregation’s participation will help raise visibility of the national campaign in three ways:
• It will provide an opportunity for parishioners to discuss the continuing shame of torture as government policy, and about the role of religious people in speaking out on this moral issue.
• It will put congregations on record as opposing torture in a very public way, and can encourage other local congregations to join in a collective witness in the community.
• It will help NRCAT document a nationwide religious resolve to end torture through a coordinated media effort to draw attention to specific communities with significant numbers of banners, as well as the breadth of participation across the entire country.

At the end of the project, NRCAT wants to produce a poster with photos of banners hung on a variety of houses of worship to deliver to Congressional leaders and President Bush. 

Churches can help NRCAT achieve its goal by:
• Visiting the Banners Across America Web page (accessible via one of the red boxes in the center of the NRCAT homepage, www.tortureisamoralissue.org) to get the complete information;
• Purchasing a banner and displaying it during June 
• Sending NRCAT a digital photograph of the banner hanging outside the parish so it can post it on the Web site and possibly use it for a national poster.

For questions or assistance, contact NRCAT’s Director for Program Coordination John Humphries, at 860-216-7972 or jhumphries@nrcat.org.