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

  • In the Wake of Attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad

    The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach joins with people of all religious traditions to condemn the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad, and offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and survivors. We pray for an end to the senseless violence in Syria, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people these past four years. For many years now, and in many countries, Columbans have worked with migrants and refugees, offering them...

  • Dialogue for Peace: Alternatives to Drones

    On November 13th, 2015, attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers hit the Bataclan concert hall, Stade de France stadium, restaurants and bars in Paris, leaving at least 129 people dead and hundreds wounded. Just a day before, suicide bombings near an open-air market in southern Beirut also left 43 people dead and 239 wounded. Solidarity is shared across borders and extended overseas, and governments increase their determination to fight against ISIS. However, does war on terror or counter...

  • Peace through Non-Violence and Solidarity

    Columban staff and interns met with Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, Tuesday afternoon to discuss the spirituality of peace, the power of non-violence, and ways to get involved in conflict transformation. Through Marie’s inspiring words and vast knowledge, we were able to witness the work of pacifist minds around the world. During our discussion, Marie asked an important question: Why do we prefer non-violence as a method of resolving conflicts rather than the use of...

  • Pope Francis and Nuclear Disarmament

    Pope Francis finally made his way to the US last month. While his deeds of random kindness were captured by cameras and journalists, his remarks were also in full media spotlight. One of the things the Pope called for when he addressed the U.S. Congress is a renewal of the spirit of politics. He reminded us that political consensus and legislation, “should be based on care for the people.” An example of where politics struggles to be based on the common good is in policies surrounding nuclear weapons. “An ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction…

  • Stand with Peacemakers in Asia

    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9) Join us in expressing solidarity with peacemakers from JeJu Island in Korea, and Okinawa, in Japan, who are meeting for the 2015 Inter-Island Solidarity Peace Camp in Japan from September 19-22. We invite you to sign a petition of solidarity to join their call for the protection of Okinawa, the surrounding islands, and the Asia-Pacific region, from expanding militarization which makes...

  • Christian leaders urge Congress to vote for diplomatic agreement with Iran

    As Christian leaders in the United States, we are writing to urge you to vote in support of the negotiated settlement over Iran's nuclear program. We live by God’s call to "seek peace and pursue it" (Psalm 34:14). After decades of hostility, the international community has crafted a nuclear accord to limit Iran’s nuclear program and prevent the United States from moving closer toward another devastating war in the Middle East. The July 2015 diplomatic agreement with Iran will...