Peacelovers and Pacifists in Times of War Introduction

An introduction to a group of peacelovers and pacifists during times of war.


Thou shalt not kill.

--Exodus 20:13

What if they gave a war and nobody came?

--Carl Sandburg

Throughout history, people have been imprisoned and sometimes executed for refusing to kill, join the army, or cooperate with the draft. Governments have tended to brand them as cowards and traitors, and their beliefs have been misrepresented and ridiculed, but such people continue to reappear the world over.

Pacifists believe that wars will not bring peace. They oppose all killing and refuse to use war or violence to settle their affairs. In general, the pacifist stand against war is based on a fundamental respect for human life, often expressed in religious, ethical, or strictly personal terms. Pacifists have been willing to die for their ideals, but they will never kill for them.

Some notable pacifists in history include the following opponents of war and builders of a better world:

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