Peace & Demilitarization
We are called to be peacemakers.
For nearly 100 years, Columbans have worked in countries torn by violence and war. In these situations they have worked to heal, reconcile, build bridges, and create mutual understanding through prophetic dialogue. Central to this mission is a commitment to building communities of peace.
“We choose to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence that reflects an inner well-being, just social and economic structures, active non-violence in the face of oppression, and a Christ-like peace that fosters a sense of inter-connectedness and solidarity with all living things.”
We advocate for human rights.
Columbans have been at the forefront of defending human rights, opposing torture and enforced disappearances, and supporting victims of torture and families of the disappeared. For this commitment, Columbans have been imprisoned, kidnapped and expelled under military governments in Chile, Peru, Korea and the Philippines. This in turn has deepened our commitment to active nonviolence. Columbans call for an end to torture everywhere, and respect for the basic human rights of all people.
We advocate for a culture of peace.
Faced with a culture of violence, the expansion of a military presence around the world, and a growing arms industry, Columbans work to cultivate a culture of peace and nonviolence. For nearly 70 years, Columbans have served in Japan and other parts of the world where nuclear weapons threaten global peace and stability. As members of Pax Christi International, Columbans call for an abolishment of nuclear weapons and a development of a moral framework that supports just peace and nonviolence as alternatives to war.
Columbans work closely with indigenous communities in Chile, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines and Taiwan to build relationships of mutual respect and cooperation, and to defend and protect indigenous lands and cultures.
Peace and Nonviolence Resources:
Peace & Nonviolence
We Must Stop the Potential for Further Violence in Syria: War Is Not the Answer
On Tuesday, April 10, President Trump and his advisers weighed a more robust retaliatory strike against Syria than last year’s missile attack, reasoning that only an escalation of armed force would look credible and possibly serve as a deterrent against further alleged use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians (NYT).
Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress, not the President, decides when the U.S. will use military force.
The New Year is a time for resolutions - another chance to help bring about a better world. This week, Fr. Pat Cunningham, a Columban missionaries serving in Korea, invites you to consider how you can use your time and talents to be a peacemaker. Fr. Pat shares his experience on Jeju Island, protesting the construction of a naval base. Then, we suggest 4 ways you can help bring peace to our world.
As the persecution of the Muslim minority in Rakhine State in Myanmar/Burma reaches a feverish pitch and forces thousands to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, Columban Superior General, Fr Kevin O’Neill, sends a message of solidarity saying: “We reject persecution of any community regardless of religion, race, or ethnic identity. We urge an end to the violence and violation of human rights of the Rohingya people and hope for their peaceful return to their homes in the Rakhine State of Myanmar/Burma.”
The U.S. Region of the Missionary Society of St. Columban joins Catholic leaders in urging dialogue with North Korea and Iran. Pope Francis has called for dialogue with North Korea and a rejection of “the narrative of fear…and the rhetoric of hatred.” At the UN, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, said, ”The international community must respond by seeking to revive negotiations ... Peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of annihilation.”