Friends Peace Testimony

What is the Friends Peace Testimony?

"We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world." From "A Declaration to Charles II," 1661. Full text at:

Because there is no single, world-wide authority that can speak for all Friends, there cannot be a single, absolute answer to any question that begins, "What is the Quaker position on . . . ?"

Nonetheless, there are certain principles that have emerged again and again in the lives of Friends in different times and situations, informing their efforts to lead lives that are faithfully guided by the Holy Spirit.

Friends call these principles "testimonies." There is no definitive list of the testimonies, but under different names they have continued to reappear with both consistency and fresh variation in the lives of the Friends who adhere to them. "They are not optional extras, but fruits that grow from the very tree of faith" (Harvey Gillman, 1988).

The best known of these testimonies is the Peace Testimony. Yet since there is no single authoritative expression of it, perhaps the best way to understand it is to look at some of the different ways it has been expressed by individual Friends and Friends communities.

Below are only a few of the many ways that Friends have spoken on the subject of peace:

The peace testimony in the words of some early Friends:

Some general expressions of the peace testimony in the words of some contemporary Friends:

Some contemporary expressions of the peace testimony with reference to recent world events:

Some links to resources on peace issues: