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Churches call for Afghanistan peace mission


December 18, 2009
- Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — The Canadian Council of Churches, Canada’s largest ecumenical Christian association, issued a brief on Dec. 10 – Human Rights day – calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan through diplomatic and political means.

Mennonite Church Canada, a member of the 22 denomination Council, has signed on to the brief.

The document encourages Canada to “… mount a peace mission and to accord it the same level of political energy and commitment, along with requisite material support, as has been accorded the military mission to date.”

Robert J. Suderman, General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, said, “I wonder how the situation today might be different if, at the outset of this conflict, the resources spent on the military effort so far had instead been committed to non-violent, non-militaristic engagement as this brief now proposes.” The brief in English and French can be found at

A cover letter addressed to Prime Minister Harper and signed by CCC President Rev. Bruce Adema, promises to “hold you and your government in prayer, as we hold the people of Afghanistan and the region in prayer.”

Human Rights Day was designated on Dec. 10, 1948 to honour the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights.