Quakers, pacifism and the ‘war to end all wars’

All welcome for our final talk in a series commemorating 100 years since the end of WW1

Ruth Tod and one other, from Henley meeting: ‘Quakers, pacifism and the ‘war to end all wars’ – Tuesday 27 November 

Dunsden Village Hall, RG4 9QG at 7.30pm – entry on door, £4 including refreshments.

‘War, in our view, involves the surrender of the Christian ideal and the denial of human brotherhood…We regard the central conception of the [Military Service] Act as imperilling the liberty of the individual conscience – which is the main hope of human progress…’

Since declaring its commitment to peace in 1660, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has opposed all wars. World War I was no different and many Quakers resisted the call to arms. Instead many members of the Society became actively involved in providing humanitarian relief for those affected by the conflict.

From 1916 onwards, Quakers were among 16,000 conscientious objectors who refused to fight as conscription laws enlisted 2.5 million extra British troops. Many were subjected to harsh treatment, both by military tribunals to whom they had to prove their right to opt out of conflict, but also at the hands of those in the community that objected to their stance.

What does it mean to commit to peace today and how do Quakers pursue this commitment?

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