Reflections on Ukraine: Can it happen again?

Oct 17, 2018 by

Women in Odessa, Kherson, Zaporozhe, Dnipro and Kiev adorn themselves in the colors and fragrances of happy gardens that belie Ukraine’s brutal history. Men without shirts in the villages of what had been...

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Book review: ‘Education with the Grain of the Universe’

Aug 27, 2018 by

Over the past several decades, one remarkable initiative in Mennonite higher education has been in the new academic field of peace and conflict studies. Mennonite schools across North America — from Fresno...

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No space for force

Aug 27, 2018 by

The flaming, flying wheel came out of the sky to whisk Ezekiel off on a grand journey. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning. The “rims...

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MCC, Syrian partners give light in a dark time

Jul 9, 2018 by and

In the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Ibrahim Nseir stands on the pile of rubble that used to be his church. The building where his congregation worshiped is now broken stones and dust. It’s a sunny day, the...

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South Korea recognizes rights of COs

Jul 9, 2018 by and

The Constitutional Court of Korea brought an end to 70 years of imprisoning conscientious objectors when it ruled June 28 that it is unconstitutional for South Korea not to offer alternative service options...

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Summit questions

Jul 2, 2018 by

It is unfortunate that President Trump’s pronouncement to end military exercises with South Korea was not included in the agreement he and the North Korean leader signed June 12. Steps to be taken by both...

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Washington Witness: The costs, and profits, of war

Jun 18, 2018 by

On a recent visit to the Middle East, I heard firsthand about the awful costs of the Syria war. A Syrian Orthodox bishop, Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, told of the “irreversible damage” that had been done to...

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Such little change

Jun 4, 2018 by

My enjoyment of competing in the Penn Relays in Philadelphia this spring was undermined by the heavy presence of U.S. Army and Marine Corps recruiting. This is a continuation of the militarization of...

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Opinion: A prayer for Syria — freedom from fear

Jun 4, 2018 by and

“Fill me with your love, O Lord,” I say to myself as I breathe in. “And free me from fear,” I think on the exhale. I’m sitting in a black van, parked on the side of the highway in Syria. As I look...

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U.N. Witness: Preventing war, one bridge at a time

May 7, 2018 by

As a Vietnamese Mennonite working for peace, I have found Matt. 26:52 — “Put your sword back into its place” — a significant verse. Everybody knows war is terrible, and we should work to prevent...

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Seeking reconciliation in Vietnam

Apr 19, 2018 by

I was amazed during my recent trip to Vietnam to see how the Vietnamese people have moved beyond the war and are committed to seeking reconciliation with Americans. Despite the horrific pain and hardship their...

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In Ukraine, families of fallen soldiers find comfort

Apr 9, 2018 by and

Imagine the pain of losing a child to war, compounded by not having a safe space to express grief. This is Claudia Antonovna Ushakova’s story. Her son, a soldier in the Ukrainian army, died in combat at the...

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Abortion and peace

Mar 12, 2018 by

Celeste Kennel-Shank’s flexible position on permitting abortion is outrageous and unthinkable (“To Strive for Life,” Living Simply column, Feb. 26). I joined the Mennonite church because I believe Jesus...

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War will not stop us

Feb 27, 2018 by

Come to me, all you that are weary . . . and I will give you rest. — Matt. 11:28 “I always pray, God, please protect us today.” Rima Absi is speaking about the rocket fire in Damascus, Syria. She is...

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Dear President Trump: Promote peace with North Korea

Feb 23, 2018 by

Honorable President Trump, I write to you because of my deep concern for this great nation and our world. There are many who think that you are primarily motivated by your concern about public image and power....

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Faith bodies must affirm opposition to nuclear war

Feb 1, 2018 by and

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved up its “Doomsday Clock.” Nuclear war is a real possibility. Faith bodies must pressure Congress to act. In the 1980s, as the Cold War raged and the...

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Pushing nuclear buttons

Jan 15, 2018 by

On New Year’s Day, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claimed “a nuclear button is always on the desk in my office.” In this respect he is no different from any other commander of a nuclear power —...

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Ending the Forever War

Jan 5, 2018 by

We are now facing what some people are beginning to call the “Forever War.” Whatever or whoever or however it is we are fighting, the war just keeps going on and on and on. Afghanistan has now...

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On war, are we following Jesus or Muhammad?

Jan 2, 2018 by

I recently read through the Quran to understand my Muslim friends a bit better and, perhaps, to find a few interesting historical notes about Islam. Instead, an unwelcome realization about fellow Christians...

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Book review: ‘The Internationalists’

Dec 18, 2017 by

Mennonite peace activists in the 1930s were a small part of an international peace movement to promote the Kellogg-Briand treaty. That treaty, passed in 1928, had made war illegal. At Buhler High School in...

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Pounding plowshares into swords

Nov 22, 2017 by

Imagine with me — it’s a beautiful Thursday afternoon. The leaves are fallen; the air is cool and crisp. Families everywhere have gathered together for their annual Thanksgiving celebrations. Suddenly, out...

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Peaceful warrior

Nov 20, 2017 by

In Yahweh Is a Warrior: The Theology of Warfare in Ancient Israel (Herald Press, 1980), Millard C. Lind refutes Charlie Kraybill (“Yahweh Has Always Been a Peacenik,” Oct. 23). “Yahweh is a warrior”...

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Courage to be a conscientious objector

Nov 13, 2017 by

It doesn’t take a lot of courage to be a conscientious objector — to something that everyone is objecting to. It is easier to object to racism today than it was to object to slavery in 1850. It is easier...

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Color vision of a conscientious objector

Nov 8, 2017 by

In the summer of 2010, I was in basic training at the Air Force Academy. I had heard that it was said, “war is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.” I also believed in the Bible, but it seemed to...

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Dicates of conscience

Nov 6, 2017 by

Historians and the media are remembering the First World War, which members of my family dealt with 100 years ago. One of my uncles was drafted into the Army; an attempt to obtain a farm deferment was not...

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