What is a conscientious objector?
- A conscientious objector (CO) is someone who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral or religious principles.
What does the Bible say about peace, justice, and nonviolence?
- There are many Bible verses that denounce the use of violence in favor of peaceful and just ways of being. The life of Jesus is the ultimate example of nonviolent love in action no matter the circumstances. Here are some Scriptures of Peace!
Brethren and Conscientious Objection
- This is a link to quotes from historical Brethren Statements that demonstrate the Brethren commitment to peace over time.
- The following are links to full statements about War and Conscientious Objection.
- And here are some examples of Individual Brethren and Church of the Brethren congregations who held these beliefs and acted on them.
What do you think?
- Ask for the guidance of parents, pastors, mentors, etc. Spend time studying the Bible and in prayer, thinking about what it means to be a conscientious objector and a follower of Jesus.
- Journal and reflect on what you’ve learned about war and nonviolence.
- Check out the resources on the Office of Peacebuilding and/or Center on Conscience and War websites for more information!
What should I do next?
- Consider your options when it comes to Selective Service registration. Read this helpful guide before navigating the draft registration process.
- Create a CO File including the following items:
- A photocopy of your Selective Service registration form
- Any communication you have had with the Selective Service
- Documentation of your religious beliefs that have led you to the conviction that you are a conscientious objector. (Use this form as a guide.)
- Send the file to the Office of the General Secretary, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will make it easier for the denomination to support you in your journey.
- Use this legislator lookup tool to find and contact your representatives about the peaceful and life-supporting alternatives to military spending. Consider asking your representatives in Congress to oppose the Selective Service System by passing the Selective Service Repeal Act of 2021 and opposing amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would expand the draft.
Office of Peacebuilding and Policy: Nathan Hosler- email@example.com
Center on Conscience and War: CCW@centeronconscience.org