Many churches worldwide have a long history of opposing wars, conflicts and violence,
and the role often played by churches in promoting peace continues today. For countries
in the midst of war, this may be seen through local churches working to broker peace
between hostile communities or bring humanitarian relief to civilians, or through
prominent church figures taking a public stand against the conflict at hand. For
countries more removed from armed conflict, such as Australia, the peacemaking role
of churches can often take on a different form. A number of church bodies or Christian
organisations in Australia are dedicated to promoting peace throughout the world.
Their work includes informing the public of world conflicts and events, lobbying
the government and providing humanitarian aid.
What do Australian church attenders think about the role their churches should play
in peacemaking? In late 2011 as a part of the 2011 National Church Life Survey,
a sample of Catholic, Anglican and Protestant church attenders were asked the following
question: Do you agree or disagree: 'The churches should more actively promote non-violent
alternatives to armed conflict'?
Author/s: Nicole Hancock, Miriam Pepper and Ruth Powell
Hancock, N., Pepper, M. & Powell, R. (2014) Churches’ role in peacemaking, NCLS
Research Fact Sheet 15002. Adelaide: Mirrabooka Press.
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