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:
The terrorist attacks took place in Paris on November 13 was a tragedy that shook the world. Multiple shootings and explosions hit the busiest area of the city on Friday night, causing more than one hundred deaths. President Hollande responded to the attacks by calling it an “act of war,” and ordered another round of air strikes in Syria.
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.
“Why did the Catholic bishops get interested in the drone issue? The short answer is because human lives are at stake. Our Church, like many other religious traditions, teaches that human beings have a basic dignity that must be respected…. To take a human life is a grave thing: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’” – Bishop Richard E.
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 weapons to force peace on other nations?
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.”
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.
Copyright © 2019 Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Washington, D.C.