To the participants of the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, 30.10.-08.11.2013, Busan / South Korea.
Eight practical steps on the path to peace. Every parish can do it!
(1) Time and again, church and Christian social programs are sponsored by defense companies. This money causes dependency on an industry we are trying to reform. It's time to end this!
(2) In many countries, there are concerts of military music in churches.* It's time to end this!
(3) For every 300 church members, one volunteer mediator should be appointed and trained to deal with conflicts and violence.
(4) In each group of a parish (choir, youth group, seniors group etc), annual events should be arranged regarding the issues of violence and violence awareness.
(5) If there is an arms manufacture in the area of a church community, the parish should publish the name of this company and what it produces. Information should be distributed about where the weapons involved have been delivered and used, and what impact those weapons had on local population abroad.
(6) Military chaplains around the world are paid by the military. They have their offices in barracks. They wear military clothings. They drive military vehicles. They accompany the soldiers at the front. Thus the Churches supports and stabilizes the military and supported war. It is time to end this!
(7) On some events of the church there is military advertising** or even recruiting. It's time to end this!
(8) There are still ecclesial confessions that justify wars, for example the Augsburg Confession of 1530, Article 16, which proclaims that a Christian can lead and participate in wars. It's time to change such confessions!
Reason: Jesus Christ has freed us to be his children. He has lived and taught nonviolence. Even now we may live in his spirit. This corresponds to nonviolent methods. Therefore, the church should not support the military.
* For example Concerts of the “Heeresmusikkorps 10” in December 6th 2013 Monastery Church in Beuron/Germany and December 12th 2013 protestant Paul-Church (Pauluskirche) in Ulm/Germany.
** For example at the church day (Kirchentag) in Hamburg/Germany in 2013 the military chaplaincy, which is an integral part of the military, had four stalls.