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The Quakers and Pacifism
The Quakers - sometimes known as the Religious Society of Friends - is a religious movement that began in 1650. As a Christian denomination, it has supported pacifism since the beginning and remains against violence of any kind. Indeed, some Quakers have refused to even defend themselves, so committed are they to pacifism.
The reasons for this are:
- They believe it is against God's wishes.
- Jesus taught about the importance of maintaining peace.
- They feel that using violence only makes the situation worse, bringing about more violence.
- They recognise that God is in every living being, so to attack someone is wrong.
- They believe that no end can justify the means of killing another human being. Violence is wrong, regardless of the circumstances.
Rather than fight, Quakers work to find alternative, non-violent approaches to conflict and are committed to helping bring about a peaceful, just and sustainable global society. They work with different churches and faith traditions, alongside secular (non-religious) organisations to raise awareness and educate people about current world issues.
To read in more detail about their commitment to pacifism, you can download the Quaker Peace Testimony here.