Here’s the press release we sent out.
“Christian charity criticises new £2 coin for glorifying war.”
The Fellowship of Reconciliation – one of Britain’s oldest Christian Peacemaking groups – is calling upon the public to make “Coins into Ploughshares” by turning the new £2 coins depicting Lord Kitchener’s famous call to arms from 1914 into an investment in a just and peaceful future.
FoR Director, Millius Palayiwa said:
We are very concerned that the launch of the new £2 coin design is in danger of glorifying war and drawing public attention away from the horrors of the trenches and the continuing need for peace, healing and reconciliation in the world.
In the spirit of our founders, we are calling upon Christians, and everyone who wants to see the establishment of a world order based on love, forgiveness, compassion and reconciliation to save the new coins when they come across them and donate them to one of the many organisations working to build a just and peaceful world for everyone.
Chair Richard Bickle added:
The Fellowship of Reconciliation began, literally, on the eve of the First World War with a group of Christians from across Europe meeting to explore alternatives to armed conflict, and to assert their belief in Jesus’ call to build a world order based on love.
In this our centenary year, that need is as pressing as ever, and we want to challenge the many WWI centenary commemorations which appear to glorify the “Great War”.
Our International Peacemakers Fund is a practical way that people can invest in building a just and peaceful future by supporting grassroots peace and reconciliation projects in some of the most divided and violent communities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Oceania.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Fellowship of Reconciliation was founded in 1914 in response to the horrors of war in Europe. Throughout its 100 years history, the Fellowship has taken a consistent stance against war and its preparation. Perceiving the need for healing and reconciliation in the world, the founders of the Fellowship formulated a vision of the human community based upon the belief that love, nonviolence and reconciliation in action have the power to transform unjust political, economic and social structures.
Worldwide, there are 85 branches, groups and affiliates in 48 countries. In its 100 years, the Fellowship has had 6 Nobel Peace Prize winners, including Chief Albert Luthuli of South Africa and Martin Luther King Jr.
2. The International Peacemakers Fund is the Fellowship’s way of showing practical solidarity with nonviolent grassroots peace making organisations in areas of the world afflicted by violent conflicts. Such peace organisations have very limited financial resources to carry out the important healing and reconciliation work amongst their communities. To such organisations, small amounts of £500 to £5,000 do make a really difference. If nonviolent peacemaking were given a real chance, it could transform our global society, relieve human suffering and make our communities more secure. This is why the Fellowship of Reconciliation established the International Peacemakers Fund.
3. The phrase “Coins into ploughshares” is an adaptation of a Bible verse, Isaiah 2:4, “…they shall beat their swords into ploughshares…”.
4. There is petition to redesign a commemorative coin at http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/royal-mint-replace-the-kitchener-2-coin-with-one-that-truly-commemorates-the-millions-who-died-in-the-first-world-war
Should you have any queries, please contact the Director, Millius Palayiwa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone number (01865) 250 781.
Twitter: @forpeacemaker #CoinsIntoPloughshares