Peace Zone to promote active nonviolence at Greenbelt

By staff writers
August 25, 2011

The Greenbelt Christian festival this weekend will feature a Peace Zone run by a network of twenty-two Christian organisations committed to active nonviolence.

Greenbelt will take place in Cheltenham from 26-29 August. The annual event features music, performance, worship, talks and debate. It will include a Peace Zone in the 'G-Source' tent. The tent will also include stands from a number of other campaigning and Christian groups.

The Peace Zone will be run by volunteers and staff members from organisations within the Network of Christian Peace Organisations (NCPO), whose twenty-two members include the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW), Christian CND and the Christian Network of the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

"Over the course of the weekend the Peace Zone will introduce people to the active nonviolence of Jesus' ministry through activities, drama and prayer," said an NCPO spokesperson.

NCPO say that these methods will illustrate "Jesus' 'third way' of responding to violence beyond traditional fight or flight models to one that affirms the dignity of all parties and uses the power of nonviolence to bring deep and lasting change for the good".

This nonviolent approach to violence and change will be brought to life by two presentations offered on the main programme by Catholic Christians.

Margaret and Barry Mizen, whose son Jimmy was murdered in south London in 2008 will speak on Sunday (28 August) on the theme 'Out of the darkness - ending the cycle of violence'.

Peace activist Chris Cole, who has taken part in many acts of nonviolent civil disobedience against the arms trade and militarism, will speak on Saturday (27 August) on the theme, 'How my faith took me to prison'. He will also take part in a panel discussion on the theme 'War - What is it good for?', along with Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow and others.

NCPO has maintained a Peace Zone at Greenbelt for a number of years, but its presence over the last few years has been more active and more visible.


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