Statement: The Audacity of Peacemaking

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Statement of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Germany on the end of the First World War in 1918.

February 04, 2018

APD, EUD NEWS.


Statement: The Audacity of Peacemaking

[Photo credit: Getty Images]

In commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany adopted the declaration "The Audacity of Peacemaking" (“Mut zum Frieden”). It was published in the February 2018 issue of the church magazine "Adventisten heute". In the statement the leadership of the Adventist Church in Germany recommends its members not to participate directly or indirectly in a war.

The declaration begins with the words: "When a war ends it does not mean that peace begins.” This is a lesson learned from the First World War, which was only the prelude to modern warfare. With cyber war, drone attacks, autonomous weapon systems, threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons and global terrorism, the way wars are waged today has once again changed dramatically. The lines of conflict and warring parties are often no longer clearly discernible. 

No just war 

In remembrance of the end of the First World War on 11 November 1918 and in view of the new potential dangers, the leadership of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Germany wants to remind of its Christian-Adventist stance, as it did in its statement "Guilt and Failure" in 2014. It should be borne in mind that war is not just. "Every military conflict is driven by open and hidden interests that supersede the pure pursuit of justice." The fate of the people in conflict areas is often of secondary importance. For this reason, the committees of the then West German and South German Unions of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church already stressed in December 1983: "Today we reject war in any form.” The threat of war and war itself create fear and lead to a continuous arms race, so that peace is constantly threatened. But also, excessive nationalism with its aggressive demarcation from other nations stirs fear and threatens peace. Furthermore, the industrial production of arms is an important economic factor. 

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