As Christians struggle to find ethical and effective responses to violent conflicts, the people of Christian Peacemaker Teams hope to establish the beginnings of an active, nonviolent alternative to military intervention. This summer, CPT plans to train the first members of the Christian Peacemaker Corps, a team of "peace reservists" with skills in nonviolent direct action and mediation who would act as emergency peacemakers in crisis situations, both domestic and abroad.
CPT recognizes that while in many situations military intervention may bring a temporary end to violence or conflict, "nonviolent direct action is an approach which seeks to serve both just ends and peaceful means." The 12-member team primarily would provide skilled support for local peacemakers, offer guidance and resources for congregations responding to international crises, and when necessary become a physical presence between opposing sides in order to prevent bloodshed and encourage dialogue.
While they are not serving in areas of conflict, team members will be available to their local communities in North America for speaking and training in nonviolent direct action and conflict resolution.
For more information on the Christian Peacemaker Corps, contact CPT, 1821 W. Cullerton, Chicago, IL 60608.
Brigitte Kerpsack was news assistant of Sojourners when this article appeared.