Latest updates from the Pax Christi International Member Organisations. 

Issue 266 | March 2016

Creating Signs of Hope for Syria

On 16 February 2016, Pax Christi International launched a global campaign for creating signs of hope for Syria. The global Pax Christi network and people of good will are encouraged to organise actions of solidarity, and days of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria between 15 and 20 March, 2016.
  • To launch your own action, get inspired by the provided resources, including statements, prayer cards, previous events and campaigns on the website: and tell us about your actions (#HopeforSyria)
  • Send a message of hope (photo or text) to the people in Syria to It will be published on the website and passed on to our contacts in Syria.
  • To check out messages of Pax Christi International board members, click here.
  • Share personal stories of Syrians, refugees, internally displaced persons and people, who are left behind in Syria, with us via
More updates: 
  • Margaretha Vanaerschot: Pax Christi International's Secretary General - Read more
  • Pax Christi International: International Board Member meeting - Read more
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South Africa: 25th anniversary of Kevin Dowling's ordination as bishop

On 6-7 February 2016, Kevin Dowling, co-president of Pax Christi International, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination as bishop. His community in Rustenburg, South Africa, honoured him with a special celebration. At the event, Marie Dennis, the other co-president of Pax Christi International, said: "Our members everywhere this day thank God for the gift of Bishop Dowling’s commitment to peace on earth - in South Sudan and Bosnia Herzegovina, in Zimbabwe and Colombia, in Syria and El Salvador, in Iraq and Nigeria and in so many other places. He brings the deep experience of the struggle for reconciliation from your communities in South Africa over and over again to nourish a world hungry for peace." Read more here.
More updates: 
  • South Sudan: PAX response to decreasing UN mission personnel - Read more
  • South Africa: “Moral renewal in our communities start with me and you” - Read more
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USA: Statement to build the beloved community

The Pax Christi USA National Council issued a statement entitled, “We are called to build the Beloved Community” at their meeting on 29-31 January 2016. “In reading the signs of our times, we recognized the destructive political discourse currently gripping our society and call on all Pax Christi USA members and all people of good will to reject the language of violence and disrespect against women, Muslims, immigrants, communities of colour and people living in poverty.” This will also be a theme of the Pax Christi USA National Assembly, which will be held from 12-14 August in Baltimore, Maryland. Read more in English here.
More updates: 
  • Guatemala: Demand to investigate the forced disappearances - Read more
  • Mexico: Stand with Pope Francis on migration - Read more
  • Mexican government fails to respect the rights of the indigenous population - Read more
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Pax Christi Australia on Defence White Paper

On 26 February 2016, Pax Christi Australia released a statement criticising the proposed military spending in the Defence White Paper of Australia, which was published the day before. Father Claude Mostowik, president of the Pax Christi section highlights that rather than making Australia safer, the proposed spending will negatively impact the environment as well as their relationship with other countries, and will rob Australians of much needed social services. “Pax Christi Australia calls for a united voice from peace organisations and groups in Australia to call on the media to question the path the country is taking.” Read the statement here in English.
More updates:
  • Aotearoa/New Zealand: “Pilgrims on the way to peace” - Read more
  • Australia: Statement on sanctuary for refugees - Read more
  • Sri Lanka: Human rights suggestions to the government - Read more
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Austria: Youth camp with Roma

On 10-24 July 2016, Pax Christi Austria and Service Civil International are organising a project camp for young people at Waldhüttl (Innsbruck), a community where dozens of Roma have been settling since 2012. Participants will help to improve the access to the Waldhüttl building and garden for wheelchairs as well as other simple construction work. They can also benefit from the exchange with the occupants of Waldhüttl and the local youth. Registration and more details here in German.
More updates: 
  • Belgium: Transnationalism of migrants - Read more
  • Germany: 83% say “No” to arms exports - Read more
  • France: Airport project according to Laudato Si’ - Read more
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Syria: Inside the sieges

On 16 February 2016, Pax Christi International and Pax Christi Flanders attended an event on the scope and implications of the besieged Syria, which was organised by Siege Watch, a joint project of PAX Netherlands and The Syria Institute. Husam Rajab Fawar, who lived under siege himself, Valerie Szybala (The Syria Institute), and Marjolein Wijninckx (PAX) spoke about the ongoing crisis. Read more in English here.
More updates: 
  • Saudi Arabia: PAX calls for arms embargo - Read more
  • Syria: Monitoring of increased assistance required - Read more
  • To be with those who have been forgotten - Read more
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Pax Christi UK joins protest against British nuclear weapon’s system

On 27 February 2016, Pax Christi UK was a partner in the ‘Stop Trident rally’ based in London and also encouraged other faith groups to participate. The demonstration was in protest of the renewal of ‘Trident’, Britain’s nuclear weapons system. Pat Gaffney, Secretary General of Pax Christi UK, stated: “It is decision making season in the UK and the rally is a tool that is being used to help raise public awareness about ‘Trident’ in an attempt to effect change. Specifically, within Pax Christi, there is an effort to strengthen the Christian and other faith based groups and their viewpoints on this issue.” At the end of the rally faith leaders made a multi-faith statement against nuclear weapons. Read more on the Trident rally in English here.
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi International and the Right to Peace - Read more
  • Pax Christi International on ‘Peacebuilding in the EU Global Strategy’ - Read more
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Human Rights abuses by Swiss corporations

Pax Christi International was one of 35 organisations to endorse a report submitted for consideration during the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women during the 65th pre-sessional working group, which will be held 7-11 March 2016 in Geneva. The report includes recommendations for state efforts to prevent and remedy human rights abuses committed by Swiss corporations operating abroad. Pax Christi International members that endorsed the report include the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy International Association. Read more here and download the submission in English here.
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PrepCom for IPB conference

On 18 April 2016, Pax Christi International and Pax Christi Flanders among others, will co-organise the Brussels PrepCom conference, a preparatory event for the International Peace Bureau World Congress on military and social spending, which will take place from 30 September to 3 October, 2016. The meeting will attempt to raise awareness and engage civil society groups in the discussion centred on how military spending could be re-directed to peacebuilding, climate, sustainable development, social justice and migration.” Read more in English here.
More updates: 
  • Pax Christi Italy’s presidents call to take action against war - Read more
  • Formation of NGO coalition on Biological Weapon Convention - Read more
  • Pax Christi International present at OEWG on nuclear disarmament - Read more
  • PAX Netherlands on armed drones - Read more
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Ash Wednesday: Witness and resistance to nuclear war preparations

On Ash Wednesday, 10 February 2016, Pax Christi UK invited everyone to join them for the 34th year of Christian witness and resistance to nuclear war preparation at the Ministry of Defence in London or to join them in prayer. The procession started with an opening prayer involving song and actions using Ash Wednesday symbols. Other events with Pax Christi members and partners took place in Glasgow and Liverpool. Read more in English here.
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Pax Christi makes global call for prayer and fasting for Syria,
Independent catholic news, 16 February

Pax Christi International statement after Holy Land Coordination visit,
independent catholic news, 1 February
Marie Dennis, coprésidente de Pax Christi et globe-trotteuse de la paix,
La Croix, 31 January

Father Lapsley gets international award,
IOL, 22 February

Friends Committee Welcomes Bill to Prevent Genocide and Atrocities,
PR Newswire, 11 February

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Check the 'Resources' section of our website to learn more about our member organisations’ work for disarmament and security, human rights, peace education, peace spirituality, reconciliation and non-violent conflict transformation. Click, download and share with anyone who may be interested!
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For updates on planned events in the Pax Christi network and beyond, click here

Is your organisation planning any peace-related activities? Do you know of any other upcoming peace event we might have missed? Let us know and we will add it to the calendar! 
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