conscientious objectors

U.S. Anabaptist groups send joint letter to National Commission on Military, National and Public Service

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A Civilian Public Service worker serves patients at New Jersey State Hospital in Marlboro, circa 1945. (Mennonite Central Committee photo via CivilianPublicService.org)

Thirteen Anabaptist church groups in the United States have sent a joint letter to an independent U.S. federal agency making a strong statement of conscientious objection to war and military service, expressing gratitude for religious freedom guaranteed in the U.S. and urging the freedom not to participate in the military.

Conscientious (tax) objectors

Charlotte and Ernie Wiens divert 10 percent of what they owe the government each year to Conscience Canada’s Peace Tax Trust Fund. (Photo by Lori Enns)

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Like other Canadians, every year Ernie and Charlotte Wiens file their taxes.

Unlike others in Canada, the La Salle, Man. farming couple doesn't send the federal government everything it says they owe—the part that violates their conscience.

For Ernie, 72, and Charlotte, 69, that’s the estimated 10 percent of Canada’s budget spent on the military.  

Conscientious objectors tree planting

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Photo: Conference of Mennonites in Canada Photo Collection

During the Second World War, Canadian conscientious objectors (COs) planted 17 million trees in British Columbia between 1942 and1944. Some COs questioned the use of working in the “bush.” Pictured from left to right: Frank Dyck, Jacob Wiebe, Menno Wiebe and Rudy Regehr returned to Campbell River, B.C., in 1966 to see the trees that they had planted.

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