Mennonites take to social media to share peace

Peace supporters are using a peace button in their online profile photo, as a response to Remembrance Day.

November 8, 2013 | Web First
Rachel Bergen | Young Voices Co-Editor
Ben Borne added the Peace Button to his profile photo.

For the last 20 years people have shared the message of peace by pinning red buttons reading, “To remember is to work for peace” to their shirts, coats, backpacks and purses. More recently, peace supporters are using a picture of a peace button as their Facebook profile or cover picture, during the month of November.

This year, Ben Borne of Saskatoon, Sask., and Maria Krause of Windsor, Ont., were among the first to make use of the online peace pin for Remembrance Day (celebrated in Canada on November 11).

The “Twibbon” was released three weeks before Remembrance Day as a part of the Peace Pin Campaign. The Twibbon is a digital image that can easily be superimposed onto Facebook or Twitter profile pictures. Supporters can also get a cover photo.

According to David Turner, Communications Associate at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba, taking the peace pin to social media is just the natural evolution of the peace pin and its message. “Harnessing social media to allow the message to spread even more seemed like a really great fit,” he said.

People spend so much time online, whether it is for work or social media, so “it’s a great opportunity for people to pin one of these to their profile picture as well as their parka,” Turner said.

Spreading the message of peace around Remembrance Day has been a controversial topic lately. Canada’s Veterans Affairs Minister, Julian Fantino, recently criticized the white poppy, another symbol of peace, for being “an offensive attempt to politicize Remembrance Day,” according to a recent report from the CBC. Many opinion editorials were released in support and questioning his stance.

Krause, 26, a Masters student at Queen’s University who is a member at Langley Mennonite Fellowship in B.C., said the Twibbon has piqued people’s curiosity but hasn’t caused much controversy in her circles.

“It’s led to some constructive conversations around the role of Remembrance Day,” she said, adding that the peace pin’s message is one that remembers all of those affected by war, not just soldiers.

Krause also wears a real peace pin on her purse all year round as a reminder that the Christian call of working for peace means action. “Jesus did not call us to passivity, but to transformative action. Likewise, for me, remembrance of war is not a passive act, but one of actively working to reconcile broken relationships, and this is what the red pin symbolizes to me.

Ben Borne, 23, who attends Wildwood Mennonite Church in Saskatoon, Sask., is excited for the opportunity to spread the message and support MCC. “I wear the button in real life, and I have the Twibbon to speak that message through my networks further and wider to let people know that I support the work of MCC,” he said. “My calling is to work for peace in the world—across the street and around the world.”

MCC does not have statistics on how many people are using the Twibbon, but it had more than 400 shares on Facebook by November 7. Many more people wear the actual peace button. Turner added that many of MCC’s partners are supporting the Twibbon, including Kairos Canada, the ecumenical social justice organization.

To get a Twibbon, visit, hook up your Twitter or Facebook account, and size and place the Twibbon to your liking.

—Posted Nov. 9, 2013

Ben Borne added the Peace Button to his profile photo.

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