What do Mennonites believe about participating in war?
A strong Mennonite belief is nonviolence or pacifism. Mennonites believe that violence is never the best answer to problems or conflict, and that Jesus taught us a better way than the way of fighting and wars. They try to take seriously Jesus’ words to love your enemy. For that reason, most Mennonites do not take part in war. During World War II, many Mennonites in the United States served in Civilian Public Service rather than participate in fighting. In Canada they served in Alternative Service Work Camps. Some Mennonites chose to serve in non-combatant positions. And some chose to serve in the military, despite the teachings of their church. Some Mennonites today choose not to pay the portion of their taxes that goes to maintaining the military. For a more in-depth look at the peace position visit Prepare for Peace.
Mennonites, Church of the Brethren and Quakers work together through Christian Peacemaker Teams to actively promote peace in many areas of the world.
For a resource list of organizations and schools who also work for peace check out Eastern Mennonite University’s page on Peace and Conflict Studies Internet Resources.