|March 26, 2010|
March Focus on Peace and Conflict
Peace and conflict are found at the borders of countries, between provinces, states and almost any boundary you can think of.
In my neighbourhood there is a north side and a south side, even though I can walk the entire perimeter of my neighbourhood in about 25minutes. There is just one street that cuts across the middle that everyone has come to know as the dividing line. That one innocent looking street has a lot to answer for as it has fueled an ‘us and them’, your side VS our side turf war for over 50yrs. The people on the “other side” don’t even look any different, but on both sides of the street they are seen as different.
If we super-size this thinking, all over the world there are dividing lines that have caused damage. Wherever there is a border, physical or invisible, humans tend to more often than not make war with our neighbours across that dividing line.
There are many borders that have a long history of conflict. These include America – Mexico, Jordan – Israel, North Korea – South Korea and Kenya – Somalia. There are major political tensions across these borders, armed conflict and very little peace.
The North and South Korea divide and political difference on each side is a result from WWII and the Pacific War which divided up the Korean territory. On June 25th 1950 tensions between North and South Korea grew so great that North Korea’s military invaded the South. It was this war that brought on a real nuclear war threat, which ended three years later in a peace pact. In 2009 North Korea withdrew their agreement to the peace deal and even now things look dangerously close to war and there is huge worry that North Korea is developing nuclear weapons. The other countries would have similar but different stories.
Our borders have the potential for war and peace. Let’s make peace with our neighbours.
- What are the dividing lines in your community? (Eg: racial neighbourhoods, rich & poor…)
- Are there places that people are considered different and why?
- What about high school? What are the dividing lines/groups? (Eg: Jocks, druggies…)
- What are some of the attitudes in your community or high school that divide people?
- What are ways you could bridge the gap and create unity?
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Dear God help me to be a person of peace, all that I am, my thoughts, my words, my actions. Help me to build peace across dividing lines. Let my eyes see how to bring about justice. Let my ears be quick to listen and hope to hear words of unity, the acceptance of all people, rather than insult and hurt. Let me use my hands to build peace, form unity, mould love. Let my words heal wounds. All that I am, let me be a person of peace. In my family, let there be peace. In my community, let there be peace. In my church, let there be peace. In my school, let there be peace. In my country, let there be peace. In the world I share with others, let there be peace.
See March’s full justice post with all the details here
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