International Mennonite Peace Committee
The International Mennonite Peace Committee (IMPC) was organized at Fredeshiem, Netherlands, 4 July 1936, immediately following the Mennonite World Conference meeting held at Amsterdam and Elspset, with Jacob ter Meulen, librarian of the Hague Peace Palace Library, as executive secretary. The purpose of the committee was to promote the peace principle among the Mennonites everywhere and to render assistance to conscientious objectors who might become involved in difficulties because of their refusal to do military service. The committee issued a "Manifesto" to all Mennonites, but apart from rendering some aid to the Hutterites who were forced out of Germany by Hitler, did not accomplish much, partly because activity was suspended by World War II. It became moribund and was superseded by a reorganized committee in 1949.
The IMPC was reorganized in 1949 at Elspeet, Holland. The members of the new committee represented Holland, France, Switzerland, Germany, United States, and Canada, the North American members being appointed by the Mennonite Central Committee Peace Section. The first officers were Harold S. Bender (United States) chairman, Chr. Schnebele (Germany) vice-chairman, C. F. Brüsewitz (Holland) secretary, Pierre Widmer (France) fourth member; they continued with little change to 1957. The stated purpose of the IMPC was (a) to maintain contact between the Mennonite peace groups in the various countries; (b) to furnish a channel for cooperative action by these groups as may be desirable; (c) to publish a news bulletin to serve the international Mennonite peace cause; (d) to provide international Mennonite peace conferences at regular intervals; (e) to support those Mennonites in various countries who surfer for conscience' sake because of their nonresistant convictions; (f) to aid in clarifying, deepening, and applying fundamental convictions in regard to Biblical nonresistance; (g) to aid in a more effective nonresistant witness.
The committee carried on its work in line with the above purpose, holding a number of international conferences at Belfort, Basel, Karlsruhe, Heilbronn, and Heerewegen, and beginning in 1955 the publication of a newsletter. The committee was reorganized and affiliated with Mennonite World Conference in 1986.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 48. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "International Mennonite Peace Committee." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1958. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/I58755.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1958). International Mennonite Peace Committee. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/I58755.html.