German French

Annual Report 1998


The Church and Peace movement is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 1999. A European network of 75 corporate and individual members has emerged from the initial discussions following World War II between representatives of the Historic Peace Churches and the mainline churches in Europe. The founding of Eirene, an international Christian peace service organisation, and Ecumenical Services, a training organisation for "peace ministers", was an integral part of this development.

Today Church and Peace continues to provide theological grounding for Christian peacemaking and pacifism and to give shape to prophetic witness by moving from theological belief to peace action. Persons in the Church and Peace network are involved in crisis prevention, nonviolent conflict resolution, social justice promotion and work for peace and understanding between groups and peoples in conflict. For example, together with partner churches and organisations, some of our member organisations have been active for years in the countries of the former Yugoslavia in refugee assistance, trauma counseling for children, youth and adults, reconstruction and development of civil society.

Interest in our work continues to grow. More and more people are asking how they as individual Christians and as faith communities can promote peace and justice: How can we contribute to ethnic conflict being resolved without the use of violence? What possibilities do we have to prevent crisis and deal with tensions? What skills and theological foundation can and should we as Christians and members of Christian groups develop in order to actively participate in the construction of a just society in which minority groups are not marginalized and human rights are respected?

In crisis situations such as the recent fighting in Kosovo/Kosova, the attempt at creating such just societies demands that we unceasingly seek solutions through relationship building and dialogue with the involved parties. This is inseparable from the continual search for all of the truth in such situations and the need to change our ideas about former enemies. For, as Keith Clements, General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches, emphasised in his sermon during Church and Peace's anniversary celebration, establishing truth is the first step to nurturing a lasting peace.

This year we have produced a more comprehensive annual report for the first time to give an account of our activities. This overview of 1998 and the beginning of 1999 should give you a feel for what Church and Peace's priorities are and how our work is structured and financed. We hope that you will continue to support and contribute to our work, particularly in view of the increasing difficulty we have given our limited resources in responding to the inquiries we receive and fulfilling our other many tasks. Thus we are dependent on your assistance in the future and look forward to working together with you as we enter the next millennium.

May the Peace of God accompany you on your way and give you the strength to overcome walls of division and seek reconciliation.

Christian Hohmann, Church and Peace General Secretary

"Therefore, love Truth and Peace"

Church and Peace 50th anniversary symposium

These words of the prophet Zechariah (8:19b) challenged the Church and Peace network in its reflections on 50 years of peace witness and ecumenical dialogue and its planning for the future. The shadow of genocide in Kosovo, NATO bombings and hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees presented pressing evidence to those assembled for Church and Peace's anniversary symposium in May, 1999, of the need for the Church to take seriously Zechariah's words. What does it mean to live as Christian communities of peace in a world where violence and hatred explode on a regular basis?

Church and Peace members and friends have been involved for many years in reconciliation, mediation and justice work in areas of tension and conflict, whether in their home communities or elsewhere. The anniversary symposium illustrated the importance that exchanging experiences and theological grounding have for such work - support and resources which Church and Peace seeks to provide. In response to the truths gathered throughout the weekend concerning the war in Kosovo, the Church and Peace network recommitted itself to living as peace churches and invites all communities of faith to share this vision and life.

1998 In Review

C&P Britain and Ireland participates in meeting of Ecumenical Spirituality Project

C&P co-sponsors meeting on conscientious ob jection in Deva, Romania

C&P attends 50th anniversary celebration of the Pax Christi German branch

C&P participates in the Peace Festival at Coventry Cathedral

C&P visits the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Dutch Mennonite Peace Group (DVG) and the Peace Church in Enschede, the Netherlands
C&P participates in the Peace Services Forum at the German Catholic Church Assembly in Mainz, Germany
C&P Eastern Europe takes part in a seminar on conscientious objection (CO) in Belgrade organised by the Yugoslavian Bureau for CO (YUBCO)
C&P English-language regional conference "Reconciliation: God's Gift, Our Task". Conference results in an open letter to the churches in Britain and Ireland
Anne Malins starts work as Administrator in Britain and Ireland.

C&P staff meet with board members of the German Mennonite Peace Committee in Laufdorf, Germany
C&P distributes material at the Greenbelt Festival in Gloucester-shire (UK)

C&P International Office staff meet with German National Council of Churches workers at the Ecumenical Centre in Frankfurt, Germany

C&P Francophone regional conference "Urban Violence: A Challenge for the Churches?" at the Centre Alain de Boismenu near Lyons, France
C&P participation at the Rhineland Protestant Church Assembly in Trier, Germany

C&P Germanic regional conference "Beyond Our Utmost Understanding?" and organisation of first C&P Germanic regional coordination group
C&P General Secretary visits the Corrymeela Community, the St. Columbanus Community and members of the Quaker House in Belfast
C&P Francophone regional coordinator assists in preparations for the Autumn Assembly of the Protestant Churches in Alsace
C&P sends an observer to the annual business meeting of the European Mennonite Peace Committee (EMFK)
Visit from Mennonite Central Committee Executive Director Ron Mathies

Planning of the Peace Week (Friedensdekade) in Wetzlar, Germany

C&P co-organises an information stand and two seminars in the Pardare at the WCC 8th Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe

Jan 99
C&P assumes responsibility for running the Liaison Centre for Ecumenical Services (JPIC)
Blaise Amstutz begins one-year term of service at C&P International Office
Dora Vaik and David Fulep begin work as co-coordinators in Eastern Europe
C&P presence at the Annual General Meeting of FoR France (Fellowship of Reconciliation)

Mar 99
C&P assists in preparations for the annual French Mennonite "Sunday for Peace"
C&P takes part in a meeting of the association of French Protestant communities (DRC)

May 99
Publication of first issue in new C&P theological pamphlet series
Six new members join C&P at the Annual General Meeting
155 persons participate in C&P 50th anniversary symposium "love Truth and Peace" near Basel, Switzerland

Standing for Truth

Church and Peace was present in the Padare (Marketplace) at the 8th Full Assembly of the World Council of Churches in December 1998 in Harare, Zimbabwe, as a part of a coalition of several Christian peace groups and service agencies. In addition to distributing information about specific aspects of Christian peace witness such as mediation and voluntary service, the coalition orga nised two seminars on active Christian peacemaking in situations of conflict.

Church and Peace played an advisory role in the publication of the European Kairos Document. Following the example of Christians in South Africa, Central America, South Korea and the Philippeans, members of the European ecumenical movement created a network to work for equitable economic standards worldwide. Church and Peace provided theological guidance for the document and continues to support the network Kairos Europe.

Church and Peace has joined this global campaign for debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries. On a regional level Church and Peace has helped to organise awareness-raising events and took part in a demonstration in Cologne during the G8 summit.

Church and Peace has been a part of this World Council of Churches' programme since its beginning and provided theological input for its development. Church and Peace will be discussing how it can be involved in the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence to start in 2001.

Church and Peace is a signatory of this appeal which resulted in the decla-ration by the United Nations Economic and Social Council of an international decade for a "Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World".

THEOLOGY AND PEACE Responding to the need for peace theology resources is an increasing priority for Church and Peace. 1998 saw the development of a new pamphlet series devoted to publishing important papers exploring the theo-logical basis for peacemaking activities. Church and Peace continues to produce a quarterly journal reporting news of individuals, churches, communities and organisations com-mitted to the peace church vision.

Regional Highlights 1998

To study war no more....

Eastern Europe

Ensuring the right to conscientious objection to war has long been an emphasis of the Eastern European region of Church and Peace. This past year regional staff and members of the Hungarian Catholic Bokor Movement concentrated their efforts in Romania and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A meeting in April co-organised by Church and Peace, the BOCS Foundation (Bokor Movement) and Youth Action for Peace in Romania brought together Catholics and Orthodox interested in campaigning for legislation recognising the right to alternative service.

Other regional activities include initiating and strengthening contacts with peace groups in the Balkans, raising awareness concerning the situation of Hungarians in Voivodina and educating about the ramifications of NATO membership. With the recent warfare in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the challenge to the church to live out Christ's calling to nonviolence and active witness for peace takes on an even greater urgency.

Reconciliation: God's Gift, Our Task

Britain and Ireland

What is the biblical basis for Christian peacemaking? How do we realise God's promise of a peaceable society? With questions such as these the English-speaking regional conference continued the path of reconciliation begun at the 2nd European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz, Austria, in 1997. Keynote presentations centered on the theological truths underlying work for reconciliation. In an open letter to the churches in Britain and Ireland inviting ecumenical dialogue, conference participants expressed their renewed commitment to living as peaceable faith commu nities.

A further regional priority is to build on interest throughout the United Kingdom in the peace process in Ireland and to encour-age active involvement from the churches. Other initiatives include developing peace theological resources and combining efforts with other groups through associations such as the Churches Peace Forum.

Beyond Our Utmost Understanding?

Germanic Region

An important theme this year in the Germanic region of Church and Peace was the peace character of the church. What form does the peace church identity take in the everyday life of a faith community? Participants at the Germanic regional conference emphasized the need to address questions of social and economic peace through such initiatives as the Jubilee 2000 Campaign and the Karios Europe Document. Church and Peace presence and input at events such as the Catholic and Protestant Church Assemblies continue to be regional priorities as well as nonviolent conflict resolution training and dialogue with the mainline churches.

Urban Violence and the Church

Francophone Region

The campaign motto "Peace to the City" of the World Council of Churches' Programme to Overcome Violence found resonance this year in the Francophone region of Church and Peace. Persons concerned about the increasing rate of violence in the cities gathered to discuss the sociological roots of the problem and to determine alternative solutions that communities of faith provide. Other areas of emphasis this past year included mediation, current economic realities and life in community.


The decision in 1995 by Church and Peace members to increase the focus on regional work within the network has resulted in
- four Church and Peace geographic and linguistic areas : Britain and Ireland, Francophone Europe, Germanic Europe and Eastern Europe;
- biannual regional conferences on a topic of importance to the area;
- regional coordinators and support groups for Francophone and Eastern Europe ; an administrator and steering committee for Britain and Ireland; a coordination group for Germanic Europe.

The regionalisation of Church and Peace allows for more intensive networking, regionally appropriate actions for peace and the development of peace theology resources in the respective language(s) of the area.

Church and Peace priorities for the years 1999-2000

Networking and promoting the peace church vision in both Western and Eastern Europe, particularly in the Ukraine, Lithuania and the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Publication of resources for peace theology and ecumenical dialogue, including a Guide to the Members and Friends of Church and Peace, a historical overview "50 Years Church and Peace", further Theology and Peace pamphlets and the presentations of keynote speakers at the 50th anniversary symposium held in May 1999.

Civilian peace services. Increasing awareness and developing support in faith communities for civilian peacemaking teams.

Joint seminars focusing on moving from theological belief to peace action with co-organisers such as the Initiative Schalom (Baptist) and Ecumenical Services (Conciliar Process).

Economic justice and social peace. An emphasis particularly in the Germanic region, with continued involvement in the Jubilee 2000 Campaign and Kairos Europe.

Further campaigning for the right to conscientious objection in Eastern European countries such as Romania and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including a regional conference in the Ukraine.

Refugees and asylum seekers. Conference in the Francophone region on the topic "Our relationships with foreigners".

Irish experiences of reconciliation. English-language conference concerning the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Financial Report 1998

The financial report for 1998 includes all income and expenditures for the International Office and the Francophone regional office in Strasbourg. For the Eastern European region only the expenditures for the regional office are reflected. Figures for the Britain and Ireland region are not presented here.

Due to a large accumulated debt, Church and Peace accounts showed a deficit of approximately 23,700 DM at the beginning of 1998. Estimated income in 1998 totalled 171,100 DM including the unexpected receipt of a 60,000 DM inheritance donation. This extraordinary donation served to cover Church and Peace's deficit and to balance the budget for 1998. As a result of this and other generous support, Church and Peace's assets as of 31 December 1998 totalled approxiamtely 14,500 DM. Total expenditures for 1998 were approximately 132,900 DM.

Auditor's Report 1998

The Annual General Meeting of the non-profit association Church and Peace commissioned us to audit the bookkeeping and the Financial Report for 1997. We ascertain that:

o The financial report corresponds with the bookkeeping documentation.o The bookkeeping has been conducted properly.
o The bank balance sheets correspond with the bank account statements.
o The spot check of individual transaction statements gives no cause for concern. All audited transactions made by the International Office are adequately documented with the appropriate receipts.

Hans-Jakob Galle, Dr. Hannes Steffen
6 May 1999

Seeking Truth and Peace

Church and Peace is a European network of Christian communities, churches and organisations who believe that peace witness is an essential characteristic of the church of Jesus Christ. Its members are committed to the active nonviolence taught by Jesus and believe that receiving the biblical message of reconciliation and orgiveness leads to active, nonviolent witness and service for peace.

Church and Peace strives to
o provide theological resources exploring the spiritual basis of peace activities
o foster ecumenical dialogue by bringing together like-minded people from diverse faith backgrounds
o provide solidarity for Christian pacifist groups in Europe
o challenge faith communities to become places of reconciliation and sharing of material and personal resources
o be a place for exchange of experiences and networking for Christians working for peace with justice.

Church and Peace brings together...
75 corporate and individual members in 9 countries across Europe representing a variety of denominational backgrounds including the Historic Peace Churches - Mennonites, Quakers, Church of the Brethren - and the Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Moravian, Lutheran, Reformed and Roman Catholic Churches.

Church and Peace is...
o Associate Member of the Conference of European Churches (CEC)
o Associate Member of the Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienste fur den Frieden (AGDF)
o Member of the Network of Christian Peace Organisations in Britain and Ireland