Pax Christi is an international Catholic peace movement.
Pax Christi (Latin for Peace of Christ) was established in France in 1945 as a reconciliation work between the French and the Germans after the Second World War. In 2007, it existed in more than 60 countries. Pax Christi constitutes a non-governmental organization (NGO) according to the rules of the UNESCO, the United Nations, the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva and the Council of Europe.
Its philosophical foundation stems from the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus and the tradition laid forth by the older Pax Romana ICMICA/MIIC (leaders of which founded Pax Christi in 1945), and Pax Christi strives to play a pioneer role in the research of solutions of armed conflicts. In 1983, it received the Prize for Peace Education of the AFL. It is a member of the International Coalition for the Decade of the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence.
Pax Christi works mainly on the following issues, either by being directly involved or by means of advocacy:
- Human security and armed conflict
- Economic factors of armed conflict
- Human rights, the rule of law and armed conflict
- Conflict transformation
- Global restoration/care for creation
- Peace building
- Youth work and peace education
- Spirituality and praxis of non-violence
Pax Christi is made up of national sections of the movement, affiliated organizations and partner organizations. Its International Secretariat is in Brussels.
Each national section is composed of local groups who enjoy a great degree of autonomy for their priorities, within the national common frame. There are over 20 national sections.
Affiliated organisation and partners
In areas without sections, civil society groups or organisations can apply to become an affiliated organization or partner with Pax Christi International. Affiliated organizations enjoy voting rights and contribute financially to Pax Christi, while partners are not contributing member and have no voting rights.
Affiliated organizations and partners are very different: peace, non-violence and human rights groups, research institutes and international religious congregations. One group with close ties is the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, a sister group of Pax Christi in the Anglican Church.
International Presidents of Pax Christi
- Maurice Feltin (1950 – 1965)
- Bernard Alfrink (1965 – 1978)
- Luigi Bettazzi (1978 – 1985)
- Franz König (1985 – 1990)
- Godfried Danneels (1990 – 1999)
- Michel Sabbah (1999 – 2007)
- Laurent Monsengwo (2007 – 2010)
- Kevin Dowling, C.SS.R. (2010 – present)