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Peace News
Tuesday, 05 September 2006 01:31
Quakers Rock

CFSC - At their annual sessions, Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) issued a statement, "Toward a Culture of Peace", that speaks to Friends' concern about the increasing emphasis on war and militarism in Canada and globally and calls for peaceful actions that help strengthen and secure the global community.


Canadian Quakers call for a culture of peace, not war

September 5, 2006
The text reads:  

For more than 350 years, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has affirmed the sanctity of human life. As a Society, we have refused to condone or participate in war. As a result of our witness and that of other historic peace churches, the right of conscientious objection to war has become a right of all Canadian citizens.
Seventy-five years ago, the work of Friends on issues of peace, social justice and humanitarian relief led to the formation of Canadian Friends Service Committee. Since its founding, this service arm of Friends in Canada has extended its concerns to include solidarity with aboriginal peoples, support for refugees, international concerns of development and peace, and abolition of the death penalty.
Since the end of World War II, Canadians have made long lasting contributions towards building a global culture of peace. Canada helped to construct and put into place many agencies of the United Nations, including its major programs for disarmament, development and human rights. Our country contributed to strengthening institutions of international law. And, until recently, Canadians led and participated in almost all of the United Nations peacekeeping missions. Canada has also been a haven for immigrants and refugees.
To our dismay, we witness a change in our country's moral compass, one that points away from a culture of peace, toward a culture of war. We are witnessing a multi-billion dollar increase in Canada's military budget, despite daily reminders - from Israel-Palestine-Lebanon and Afghanistan - that military solutions simply do not work. Nor did they work in Vietnam, Yugoslavia or Iraq. The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) calls on our government and fellow citizens to turn away from a culture of war toward a culture of peace.
We call on our government to redirect vision and resources into an ecologically sustainable planet Earth.
Let us address the roots of injustice by helping to "make poverty history," and to eliminate AIDS, malaria and the threats of new pandemics.
Let us reverse the erosion of civil liberties and rebuild trust.
Let us end financial support to industries that produce the instruments of war, and withdraw Canada's support of NATO's nuclear weapons policies.
We are part of a great chain of people who care about the Earth. Let us work to protect and restore it again to health. In such ways we will honour and uphold the United Nations' efforts toward the Millennium Development Goals, and its Decade of Nonviolence for the Sake of the Children of the World.
And in such ways we Friends will be faithful to our 350 year tradition. In the words of William Penn, seventeenth century Quaker, "let us try, then, and see what love can do."
The statement is also available in French.  Available at: http://www.cfsc.quaker.ca/pages/whats_new.html


September 21-Praying and Acting for Peace

World Council of Churches' (WCC) member churches (which includes Canadian Yearly Meeting) are invited to pray for peace on 21 September, a part of its Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV) and coincides with the UN International Day of Peace. The theme, "? and still we seek peace", was chosen by churches from Latin America.  Churches are asked to be especially mindful of the violence in Latin America, but also of the suffering in the Middle East.  The International Day of Prayer for Peace (IDPP) is an opportunity for church communities to pray and act together, and with others, to nurture lasting peace in the hearts of people. Suggestions include art contests, educational and cultural events, prayers and reflections on peace, etc. Copies of an IDDP brochure, prayers and other resources are available on the DOV website: http://overcomingviolence.org/en/about-the-dov/international-day-of-prayer-for-peace.html


Canadian Friends Service Committee
60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5R 1C7
Tel: 416-920-5213  Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website: www.cfsc.quaker.ca
To make a donation towards the work of CFSC, visit: http://www.cfsc.quaker.ca/pages/donate.html
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 September 2006 01:31

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