Unitarian Universalism has a long history of working for peace. Noted Unitarian and Universalist peace advocates include Adin Ballou, Henry David Thoreau, Clara Barton, and John Haynes Holmes. Many Unitarian Universalists today are also inspired by the doctrines of nonviolence advocated by Mahatma Gandhi and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Guided by this spiritual grounding, Unitarian Universalist congregations have passed more than 50 official resolutions relating to peace since 1961, covering topics from disarmament to conscientious objection to the wars in Vietnam and the Middle East.
Many Unitarian Universalist congregations speak out for peace by holding vigils and creating memorials to honor the casualties of the war, educating themselves and their communities about the realities of war, and by conducting prayer and meditation services devoted to peace.
Unitarian Universalism is not exclusively a peace church. While many Unitarian Universalists advocate nonviolence, not all agree on this position. Members of our faith (past and present) have supported and fought for what they believed to be just wars, including the American Civil War and World War II. Our goal is peace with justice. Our members act in different ways toward that goal. We have members and ministers who serve in the military, and we continue to support them, their families, and all our brave US Service men and women.
As UUA President Rev. William Sinkford prayed on the third anniversary of this war, “May we find the strength and vision to end the cycles of violence.”
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Last updated on Monday, May 2, 2011.
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