BOCS Homepage

Church and Peace

Spring/Summer 1998
Vol. 15 No. 1-2

- Peace church initiatives in Durban and Cape Town
- Church & Peace regional trends
- Tribute to peace church theologian John H. Yoder
- Nobel Peace Prize Laureates' Appeal
- Gandhi colloquium in Montpellier, France
- Visits to members in France


4 Building Jubilee Communities WCC POV
7 Overcoming Political and Criminal Violence Mike Vorster
9 Presence of Peace Monitors Averts Violence WCC POV
10 Ecumenical Peacemakers Programme in Durban WCC POV
12 Bearing Each Others Burdens Mike Vorster & Sibusisiwe Mlambo
13 Out of the Shadow of Violence Christian Hohmann
15 Nonviolence in South Africa - Gandhi's Legacy Christian Hohmann

18 Civilian Service Meeting in Romania Katalin Simonyi
19 Francophone Region Defines Objectives Sylvie Gudin Poupaert
20 Britain and Ireland Committee Meets with Ecumenical Spirituality Project Eleanor Kreider & Terri Miller
21 German-speaking Region Takes Shape Hans Jakob Galle

22 Pax Christi Intervention - A Culture of Peace Paul Lansu
23 New Swiss Mennonite Mediation Programme Jürg Rindlisbacher
25 Quakers Involved in Arms Protest Emma Rigby & Wendela de Vries
26 To Be a Place of Benediction... Grandchamp
27 Peace Church Theologian Dies Wolfgang Krauss
28 John Howard Yoder and the Peace Church Movement in Europe Wilfried Warneck
31 Letting the Light of Nonviolence Shine Christiane Bals
32 «For the Children of the World» Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
34 Autumn Visit to England Birgit Dobrinski
34 Refugees Receive Assistance via "The Bridge"
35 A Visit to the South of France Sylvie Gudin Poupaert
37 A Visit to the South of France...Part II Terri Miller
38 General Assembly 98 Birgit Dobrinski


Dear Readers,

The beginning of a new year saw many church representatives warning from the pulpit of a "social catastrophe" due to rapidly growing poverty in developing countries.

A lack of recognition, a loss of perspective and resulting low self-esteem push many children and youth into the never-ending cycle of social exclusion, violence and cri-minality: street riots in Strasbourg, deadly clashes between youth gangs in Magdeburg, the murder of a Sudanese student by a Czech skinhead....unfortunately such headlines are an all-too-usual occurrence in newspapers across Europe. Politics that increasingly focus on unbalanced economic growth with-out regard to human needs threaten to ruin social peace in our society.

Persons in all parts of the world are suffering under a growing wave of violence, which mirrors a widening gap between rich and poor. The churches, who are to proclaim the message of peace and reconciliation, are faced with the challenge of reversing this spiral of violence and taking an active part in constructing a culture of peace and nonviolence. For this reason the World Council of Churches launched the Programme to Overcome Violence in January 1994 and the accompanying Peace to the City Campaign in 1996. Both WCC initiatives will be highlighted at the WCC 8th Full Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe, in December 1998.

At the Assembly the peace church mission of developing nonviolent methods to respond decisively according to Jesus' teachings to violence in daily life and social injustice will constitute a clear discussion topic among the 300 WCC member churches. Church and Peace has been involved in the POV since its beginning and is also taking part in preparations for Harare, in co-operation with IFOR, Pax Christi, Ökumenischen Dienst (Ecumenical Service) and various related partner organizations in Latin America and Africa. Thus we have decided to feature WCC initiatives in this issue of the quarterly.

One of the seven cities chosen for the Peace to the City Campaign is Durban in South Africa. In this issue we introduce three ecu-menical initiatives which are attempting to bring about an end to political and criminal violence in the Durban area as well as the peacemaking work of the Quaker Peace Centre in Cape Town. These examples illustrate that the unmistakable readiness in South Africa to engage in violence is a bitter legacy of apartheid whose goal was to deny the black majority access to the country's material wealth. These articles also show that there are ways to counter existing injustice.

A parallel action can be seen in the 80,000 young people who, during the annual Taizé youth gathering this year in Vienna, envi-sioned what kind of concrete steps they could make towards fostering trust, reconciliation and social justice in their home countries.

We begin 1998 with a double issue in order to give you a current and far-reaching overview of Ch&P news and also to allow ample time for preparations for Ch&P's 50th anni-versary.

Happy reading!
Christian Hohmann
Trans TRM

Church and Peace: is a European ecumenical network of peace churches and peace church-oriented congregations, communities and service agencies.
Editorial Staff: Terri Miller, Birgit Dobrinski, Christian Hohmann Layout: Terri Miller
International Office: Ringstrasse 14, D-35641 Schöffengrund; Tel: +49 6445/ 5588; Fax +49 6445/ 5070; E-mail: [email protected]; Web Site:
Regional Offices: F-Strasbourg, H-Székesfehérvár
Bank account GB: Co-operative Bank, Watford. Sort code 0890 78. Account
50 34 28 31. Payment by cheque to Gerald Drewett, 20 The Drive, GB-Hertford SG14 3DF
Bank account D: Volksbank Wetzlar-Weilburg. Sort code 515 602 31.
Account 23 65 103.