Tagged Peace

Scroll down for a list of all articles about Canadian Friends Service Committee’s peace work.

CFSC’s work recognizes that peace is a process that plays out at multiple levels: inner peace, interpersonal peace, and structural peace. Each of these impacts the others in complex and ever changing ways. So peace is not a static situation without conflict, it is a dynamic system. Our newsletter Quaker Concern comes out three times a year sharing stories from our peace work and how we’re making a difference.

Our work focuses on the grassroots and building the conditions for peace in Canada and several other countries. A story will help illustrate this work.

A Congolese woman looks out of her hotel window to see a group in the street starting a loud protest, while a large number of soldiers advances on them.

Instead of staying inside and watching, she walks out into the street, alone. She places herself right in the middle of the street, between the two sides.

From behind her come the angry shouts of the mass of townspeople. In front, she sees the well-armed soldiers drawing ever closer.

With calm perseverance and fearlessness, the woman begins to talk to both sides. She listens carefully, and reminds them of their real interests in this situation. Will they hear?

Things are tense and violence seems likely as insults are hurled back and forth between the townspeople and soldiers. But with time, the situation cools.

Both groups start to understand that their interests can be served without violence. Eventually, incredibly, the townspeople and the soldiers disperse.

This is a true story. It is one of an endless number of examples of nonviolence in support of peace.

Did you know that skills like these exist and are used every day around the world? How many violent situations are avoided (and don’t become news)? How would you react in a conflict situation that you saw escalating?

We share stories, analysis, and tips for success in Quaker Concern articles and through our book Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division.

Detaining Dreams - No Way to Treat a Child

No Way to Treat a Child

I’ve learned a great deal from Friends about discussing difficult issues and searching together for unity in the Spirit. Without having to agree, we can find ways to hold a broader perspective and come to experience a deeper truth. Every area that CFSC works on is controversial, and many will passionately disagree with our views…

My Summer with CFSC

Each summer CFSC seeks a young Friend or young person interested in Quakerism and social justice to work as a Program Assistant (PA), supporting both CFSC’s various program committees and its general administrative operations. This summer I was honoured to take the PA position, have the opportunity to work on so many issues close to…

Friends Women's Association works at the grassroots for peace in Burundi

Working for Peace in Burundi

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It was devastated by many years of civil conflicts and wars following its independence from Belgium in 1962. The breakdown of economic, social, and cultural structures led to a deterioration of women’s condition. The worst example is Kamenge, a slum in the northern part of…

It is time to rethink national security and take a shared security approach argues CFSC (Quakers)

From National to Shared Security

An historian at Trent University recently uncovered the fact that in 1951 the Prime Minister of Canada authorized a top secret surveillance program about which Parliament was kept in the dark. The program, code-named “Picnic”, involved spying on Canadians felt to be “subversive” for reasons including in some cases that they were homosexuals. In 1954,…

nuclear weapons and the Doomsday Clock

The Doomsday Clock: Can it Help the World Disarm?

Ten years ago I gave the annual Sunderland P. Gardner lecture at Canadian Yearly Meeting on the theme Toward a Culture of Peace: Can we afford to pay the price? It was a time, like today, when the human race faced a combination of threats to our very existence. The Cold War ended long ago,…

Canada has a peaceful reputation

In Conflict with a Peaceful Reputation

  National identity is a meaningful and important set of beliefs for many people. It guides their feelings about where they come from and what that means. For most Canadians, it is part of a sense of national identity to come from a peaceful and progressive nation, one with a good standing in the world.…

Does language matter?

Does Language Matter?

CFSC’s values are Friends testimonies: peace, integrity, equality, simplicity, and respect for all creation. How can we live these when it comes to our choice of language? What is the line between being respectful and failing to speak with honesty and integrity? At the national level, how can the right to free speech be appropriately…