‘Go in peace.’
‘Go on your way without fear of harm,’ the exhortation of peace says. ‘Continue in what you need to do to go about your life without worry of attack,’ it reassures us. ‘You have no need of constantly glancing over your shoulder or having ready a defence. You are safe here.’
‘My peace I give you,’ said Jesus, comforting his disciples as they hid behind locked doors – afraid of persecution for their affiliation with him. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ (From John 14:27)
Peace is the profound gift of living free from fear.
Of course, the peace that Jesus spoke of was far greater and more all-encompassing than physical flesh-and-bones worry, but in our world, every one of us has the power to be a part of bringing peace – starting from within our own homes and communities.
108.4 million people displaced because of conflict
Right now, around the world, over a hundred million people are living away from their homes after having been forced to flee in search of safety from violent conflicts. Millions more live in daily fear of attack because of ethnic, religious, political or socio-economic divides or persecution.
Peacebuilding in Pakistan
In Pakistan, for example, where violence across religious divides has left people living in fear for the safety of their lives and their belongings, Tearfund has been working to help build peace.
Through a programme called Flourishing Together, young people are being brought together from across religious divides to learn about each other and their differences (and surprising similarities) – to discover and build respect and understanding for each other’s beliefs, and find ways to build solutions for the issues that often cause disharmony.