What is Peace?

This is a huge question. Peace can be defined by many broad and narrow definitions.

Generally speaking, conflict is reduced when there is a stable government, when a society can meet its basic sustenance needs (food, shelter, clothing, clean water, etc.), when there is freedom of belief, and when there is unfettered access to education and basic healthcare. This is sometimes referred to as creating conditions for peace.

A good starting point for a Mennonite perspective is to look at the biblical account and a theology of peace.

Some might also find a helpful starting point with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals:

  • End poverty and hunger
  • Universal education
  • Gender equality
  • Child health
  • Maternal Health
  • Alleviate HIV/AIDS
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Global partnership

Information on how to achieve peace could fill many volumes, each one unique to its context. Suffice to say that at the root of peace is the need to create conditions that foster peace.