Thursday, March 23, 2006

[18.15 GMT] Freed hostages in Iraq for group with Christian conviction in active pacifism (Brooks Bulletin, Canada). A willingness to accept risk has always been part of an organization whose genesis can be traced to a "good old farmboy" from Canada who believed it was a cop-out simply to turn the other cheek. "People think that war is successful even if tens of millions of people get killed in the process," Ron Sider, the theologian credited with inspiring Christian Peacemaker[Teams], said in an interview." If some non-violent peacemakers are put to death by vicious people, that does not mean that non-violence has failed - it means that we live in a vicious world and lots of people do very evil things." It was at a Mennonite world conference in France two decades ago that Sider, who grew up in rural southern Ontario as the child of a Brethren in Christ pastor, challenged Christian pacifists to become more [assertive]. "Unless we are ready to die developing new non-violent attempts to reduce conflict, we should confess that we never really meant that the cross was an alternative to the sword," Sider told the conference in 1984.Now a theology professor at Palmer Theological Seminary at Eastern University in Philadelphia, Sider says Mennonites had to show they had a real alternative to war. "That would mean putting ourselves on the line and putting ourselves between warring parties," he told The Canadian Press. [Pic: Ron Sider] The Sider Centre.

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