The Quaker peace testimony is an active expression of our understanding of the nature of how we should live in this world; an understanding that comes from our experiences of meeting together in worship – periods of collective quiet prayer and reflection in which we listen for the leadings of the spirit.
Our commitment to peace is many-faceted, and how we are led to act will be different in any given situation. It challenges us in many settings and for every generation. Our peace testimony is about paying attention to all relationships; from those with family and neighbours to those between nations.
We try to live out our commitment to peace in our daily lives and in our work. Sometimes, we set up and support long-term individual or collective Quaker action as an expression of our peace testimony. For example, we develop and support alternative ways of resolving and engaging in conflicts. We also work for a reduction in armaments in the world and for a change to the conditions, policies and circumstances that can sow the seeds of war and violent conflict.
It is not always easy and we will often need patience, to develop particular skills and to spend time learning and reflecting. At other times, simply ‘bearing witness’ to a different way – a way that affirms the value of all life rather than denies it through warfare is what we can each do.
Our peace testimony pushes us, individually and with others, to undo some of the hurt in this world and to take positive action for a better future.
Together, let us reject the clamour of fear and listen to the whisperings of hope
From a statement on peace by Quakers in Aotearoa/New Zealand
This text is available as a leaflet – to download or on request from the NFPB office.