We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted
us to use material for this Faith and Practice.
We utterly deny all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.… The spirit of Christ which leads us into all Truth will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for kingdoms of this world.
george fox, declaration to charles ii, 1660
britain yearly meeting,
quaker faith & practice, 1995, §24.04
good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it.
william penn, 1693
britain yearly meeting,
quaker faith & practice, 1995, §24.03
upon love and concern for the wellbeing of all, Friends
work for reconciliation and active nonviolent resolutions of
conflict. Friends have traditionally supported conscientious
objectors to military service, while holding in love, but disagreeing
with, those who feel that they must enter the armed forces. Friends
oppose all war as inconsistent with God’s will.
that violence and war typically arise from unjust
circumstances, Friends address the causes of war by working to
correct social injustice, and by strengthening communities,
institutions and processes to provide nonviolent alternatives to
military force. We testify against structural violence implicit in
disparities of wealth and income and against discrimination on the
basis of race, sex, age, class, sexual orientation, and other divisions
of people. John Woolman implored Friends to seek out the seeds of
war in themselves:
that we who declare against wars, and acknowledge our trust to be in God only, may walk in the light and therein examine our foundation and motives in holding great estates.
May we look upon our treasures, the furniture of our houses,
and our garments, and try whether the seeds of war
nourishment in these possessions?
john woolman, 1763
work of peace is the work of sustaining relationships of
mutual human regard, of seeing and speaking to that of God in
everyone, of seeking peace within ourselves, the family, the
community and the world. The Kingdom of God is both present in
each of us and a goal yet to be fulfilled. The task may never be
but sustained by God’s love we are called to pursue it.