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The Peace to the City Network grew out of a campaign of the same name that began in August 1997 and culminated in December 1998. The network was active until 2002; its members - churches, peace and justice organizations, faith communities and civil society movements - continue to work within the framework of the Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010).

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About Peace to the City
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The Peace to the City Network grew out of a Campaign of the same name, which itself was the mid-term focus of the Programme to Overcome Violence (POV). The POV was mandated by the WCC's Central Committee in 1994. The Peace to the City Campaign began later, in August 1997. The Campaign culminated at the WCC's Eighth Assembly in December 1998; delegates recognized that violence is still common to all their situations and agreed to continue the POV effort in the form of a Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace (2001-2010).

The Programme to Overcome Violence (POV):

  • undertook a joint study with Faith & Order to look at the theological and ecclesiological dimensions of violence as well as the powerful resources offered by the Christian faith in building cultures of peace. A consultation held in Boston in April 1998 was a first step to laying the foundations for and designing a process to engage churches and others in these issues;
  • built a data base on peace-building initiatives around the world;
  • participated in international, regional and national meetings on such themes as microdisarmament, small arms, nuclear weapons, peace, reconciliation and overcoming violence;
  • brought together participants from 41 countries to design the Programme to Overcome Violence - Corrymeela Consultation on Non-Violent Approaches to Conflict Resolution, held June 1-5, 1994 in Corrymeela, Northern Ireland.
  • the CCIA Board adopted the Draft Text of Assumptions and Principles to Guide the Programme, as a response to the Central Committee's call to create a Programme to Overcome Violence. The meeting was held in June 25-30, 1994 in Kitwe, Zambia
  • organized a workshop on active nonviolence - "living with our Differences: Nonviolent Responses to Conflict", held August 5-14, 1994 in Bossey.
  • organized and facilitated seminars, including one on "Ministry in the City" at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute in July 1998 and another on "the Role of Clergy in Overcoming Violence" at the Hague Appeal for Peace, in May 1999;
  • organized an international consultation on small arms. The consultation established a set of basic principles for the churches' involvement on this issue. It also identified examples of "best practice" from the churches' and others' recent involvement in small arms issues.
  • provided print and A/V resources on overcoming violence.
  • provided seed funding to ecumenical peace initiatives around the world.
  • developed a website providing information and resources on peace and overcoming violence. It provided an internet platform for networking exchanges and information on peace and non-violence.

The Peace to the City Campaign was grounded in seven cities: Belfast (Northern Ireland), Boston (USA), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Durban (South Africa), Kingston (Jamaica), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Suva (Fiji).

It highlighted creative models of peace-building and reconciled communities to

  • make them visible,
  • give recognition to their approaches and methods,
  • identify lessons, form new insights and theoretical perspectives,
  • stimulate sharing and networking,
  • give others hope and tools to attempt something similar in their own contexts,
  • sow the seeds of an ecumenical peace movement.

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