Christian Peacemaking Teams: An alternative to joining the military

Christian Peacemaking Teams: An alternative to joining the military

Are you a Christian who has been offered a deal to join the military in your country?

One of the alternatives that exists is Christian Peacemaking Teams (CPT), an organization that calls for active, non-violent peacemaking action.

Among the work done by CPT are peaceful demonstrations, inter-army dialogues, supporting communities whose existence is in danger, and training for people in violent zones in alternatives to warfare as a way of solving problems.

What kind of training will you receive that may help you in the future?  According to the website, “Prospective CPTers first participate in a short-term delegation, and then attend a month-long intensive live-in training program. The training includes modules on violence-defusing role plays, interpersonal conflict transformation, security in war zones, the biblical basis for peacemaking, undoing racism and sexism, work-style profiles, and much more.”

It is a multi-denominational effort, and to some people that is a turn off.  But the US military is also a multi-denominational effort that receives verbal endorsement by countless churches.  In the military, prayers worship services are given by members of different denominations and those from other denominations participate.  Chaplains from different denominations are paid by the military to minister according to their denomination’s teaching.

CPT does engage in worship, involving different denominational practices, but it is not required to participate in any worship service.  Also, CPT is not a missionary organization, but a community organization connected through a shared political goal of maintaining faith-based peace actions.  CPTers are allowed to share their belief, but the organization does not mandate any denomination’s teachings be taught.

CPT does receive all of its money from donations, although a few denominations have become official sponsors.  They do release a financial summary of their income and expenses.

Even if you are not interested in joining, you can donate, sign up for their newsletter, or invite a CPT speaker to come to your congregation, school, or other community.

Or you can start your own work in the spirit of what they are doing within our own congregation.  They have a number of books out that you can read and learn from.

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