The German Mennonite Peace Committee has begun an initiative to support Russian conscientious objectors.
Many young men have been forcibly drafted into the Russian military against their will to support the invasion of Ukraine. Conscientious objection is illegal in both Russia and Ukraine. Drafted individuals are denied the right to flee to other countries.
The peace organization supports German politicians who are already demanding their nation grant protection to Russian COs at the federal level. It is encouraging German Mennonite individuals and congregations to contact their members of parliament to support the initiative.
“For many of our ancestors, refusing to take up arms was a basic principle of witnessing to the Christian faith,” the peace committee said in a Nov. 8 release. “But conscientious objection is not just a belief, it is also an ethical and practical act that fundamentally challenges the waging of war.”