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Peace News log archive: July 2017

Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here

A report from a Christian conference on nonviolence.

Lucas Johnson, co-ordinator of International Fellowship of Reconciliation

The practice of nonviolence was an integral part of the life, teaching and work of Jesus. This was the message heard by those attending the conference Reclaiming Gospel Nonviolence, sponsored by the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, Pax Christi and the Fellowship of Reconciliation held in Kinnoull, Perth on 14-16 July.

John Dear, a Roman Catholic priest from the USA, looked over the life of Jesus and the lives of the early Christians to draw inspiration for the idea that practising peace is the core duty of all Christians and people of faith. 'As a society we are addicted to death', he said, from the wars that have been continually fought for the last seventy-plus years to the dead and fossilised animals we burn as coal, oil and natural gas.

'Change happens when people act. Sometimes this may involve breaking bad laws and facing the consequences', said Dear. This can be seen in the life of Jesus, who Dear described as 'a one-man crime wave' for actions such as overturning the tables in the temple and healing the sick on the Sabbath. He urged participants to be witnesses for peace in their communities, through their actions and their lives, adding: 'We are called to be faithful, not to be successful'.

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122 countries vote in favour of a treaty banning nuclear weapons - Britain refused to participate

UN negotiations on treaty to ban nuclear weapons, 3 July - ICAN

New York, 7 July 2017: Negotiations of a new international treaty that bans nuclear weapons concluded at the United Nations today as the treaty was formally adopted by states. The United Kingdom, alongside other nuclear-armed states, has boycotted the negotiations despite government claims to support multilateral disarmament and a world without nuclear weapons.

'States that are serious about eliminating nuclear weapons have joined the United Nations treaty negotiations to ban nuclear weapons and they represent the majority of states in the world,' said Richard Moyes of Article 36.  

'The UK along with other states that possess nuclear weapons have chosen to boycott these talks, but the process has shown that any group of committed and concerned states can and should take collective responsibility to reject these horrific weapons,' said Moyes.

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Who carries out the works of mercy in the war-torn country of Afghanistan?

10-year-old Afghan Street Kid Mubasir smiles despite his difficulties.

10-year-old Afghan Street Kid Mubasir smiles despite his difficulties.

 At an April, 2017 Symposium on Peace in Nashville, TN, Martha Hennessy spoke about central tenets of Maryhouse, a home of hospitality in New York City, where Martha often lives and works. Every day, the community there tries to abide by the counsels of Dorothy Day, Martha’s grandmother, who co-founded houses of hospitality and a vibrant movement in the 1930s. During her talk, she held up a postcard-sized copy of one of the movement’s defining images, Rita Corbin's celebrated woodcut listing "The Works of Mercy" and "The Works of War."

She read to us. "The Works of Mercy: Feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Clothe the naked; Visit the imprisoned; Care for the sick; Bury the dead." And then she read: "The Works of War: Destroy crops and land; Seize food supplies; Destroy homes; Scatter families; Contaminate water; Imprison dissenters; Inflict wounds, burns; Kill the living."

The following week, US general James Mattis was asked to estimate the death toll from the U.S. first use in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of the MOAB, or Massive Ordinance Air Burst bomb, the largest non-nuclear weapon in U.S. arsenals.

"We stay away from BDA, (bomb damage assessment), in terms of the number of enemy killed," he told reporters traveling with him in Israel. "It is continuing our same philosophy that we don't get into that, plus, frankly, digging into tunnels to count dead bodies is probably not a good use of our troops' time."

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