A paper outlining moves towards a New Remembrance aimed at investing in peace-building rather than glorifying war-making has been published by the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, coinciding with commemorations of the fabled ‘Christmas Truces’.
At Christmas 1914, four months into World War One, British and German soldiers on the Western front laid down their weapons. They exchanged small gifts, sang carols, buried their dead, and some even kicked a football around.
What would it mean for churches to be places where people “learned how not to kill” – to stop viewing killing as a solution, and to start investing in nonviolent alternatives to war? How could they do this? What would it say about their witness? How would it impact how the voice of the church is heard at times of heightened conflict or war?