International Conscientious Objectors Day 2023

On Monday 15 May Christian CND joined many others in Tavistock Square in London to mark International Conscientious Objectors Day. The event was one of many taking place around the country, focusing this year on the plight of conscientious objectors in Ukraine and Russia, many of whom have been punished with prison sentences for their beliefs.

During the event the crowd heard from Belarusian peace activist Olga Karach from Our House, who spoke about the situation for conscientious objectors in Belarus. Semih Sapmaz from War Resisters’ International brought news from the global situation and feminist historian Ali Ronan spoken about the women who supported those who refused to fight in the First World War, something which is often overlooked in history.

There was also music from the Raised Voices choir and the annual reading of names of conscientious objectors around the world before flowers were laid on the memorial stone and a minute’s silence was observed.

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, along with conflicts elsewhere in the world, we continue to pray for those who refuse to fight and instead stand on their beliefs. Some of the stories of these individuals and their courage are truly inspiring and deeply moving. Please join us as we pray.

Father God, we pray for all conscientious objectors around the world, from Ukraine and Russia to Israel and Palestine, from Sudan to Afghanistan. We pray that you would be with those who stand for peace. We pray that those who are imprisoned for their beliefs would be comforted, we pray that their families would know your peace. We pray that these vices would speak to the human need for peace, friendship and unity rather than division, war and killing. We pray in the name of Jesus, your Son. Amen.

A prayer for conscientious objectors around the world

You can watch the service on the PPU YouTube page

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