Quakers in Britain have welcomed the clear decision of the UK parliament to reject military intervention in Syria.
Christian peace groups, churches, and aid and development organisations have either urged caution on the UK government or spoken directly against escalating the conflict.
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain, said: “We acknowledge the difficulty of deciding on an appropriate response to the atrocious situation in Syria at the present time, and have been upholding decision-makers as they struggle to find a right way forward.
He continued: "We are pleased to see this moderate and peaceful outcome, and thank MPs for their care in making this difficult choice.”
On Wednesday 28 August 2013, Quakers in Britain released a public statement, calling for “those in power to work with diligence through the United Nations and all diplomatic channels to bring peace nearer. We challenge them to use their resources and imaginations creatively.”
Helen Drewery, General Secretary of Quaker Peace and Social Witness, commented: “Quakers see war as wrong because we value every human being so highly that killing them cannot be right. We need to use the nonviolent tools we have – we need to respect them, learn to use them better and not see them as weak alternatives.
"As the threat of military intervention is averted, at least for now, it’s important that we all redouble our efforts to find peaceful resolutions to this situation, support humanitarian aid to the region, and encourage dialogue,” she concluded.
* The full Quaker statement can be read here: www.quaker.org.uk/syria-crisis
* More on Syria from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/syria