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Encyclopedia > American Friends Service Committee
American Friends Service Committee logo
American Friends Service Committee logo

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) affiliated organization which works for social justice, peace and reconciliation, abolition of the death penalty, and human rights, and provides humanitarian relief. The group was founded in 1917 as a combined effort by American members of the Religious Society of Friends and assisted civilian victims of war. American Friends Service Committee logo This work is copyrighted. ... Pendle Hill, a landmark in the history of the Society of Friends. ... The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A peace dove, widely known as a symbol for peace, featuring an olive branch in the doves beak. ... Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Year 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... In times of armed conflict a civilian is any person who is not a combatant. ... Look up war in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Because Quakers traditionally oppose violence in all of its forms and therefore refuse to serve in the military, the AFSC's original mission was to provide conscientious objectors (COs) to war with a constructive alternative to military service. In 1947 AFSC received the Nobel Peace Prize along with the British Friends Service Council, now called Quaker Peace and Social Witness, on behalf of all Quakers worldwide. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... John T. Neufeld was a WWI conscientious objector sentenced to 15 years hard labour in the military prison at Leavenworth. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... Lester B. Pearson after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize (Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ... Quaker Peace and Social Witness are an organisation of Quakers in Britan that work to promote and put into practice the Quaker testimonies of equality, integrety, simplicity and peace. ...

Contents

History

In April 1917 -- days after the United States joined World War I and declared war on Germany and its allies -- a group of Quakers met in Philadelphia to discuss the pending military draft -- and how it would affect members of peace churches such as Quakers, Mennonites, Brethren, and the Amish. They developed ideas for alternative service that could be done directly in the battle zones of northern France. Year 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... This article is becoming very long. ... Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Cradle of Liberty, the City That Loves You Back, the Quaker City, The Birthplace of America Motto: Philadelphia maneto - Let brotherly love continue Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Government... Conscription is a general term for forced labor demanded by some established authority, e. ... Peace churches are Christian churches, groups or communities advocating pacifism. ... The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations based on the teachings and tradition of Menno Simons. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Schwarzenau Brethren. ... The Amish (IPA: ) are an Anabaptist Christian denomination in the United States and Canada (Ontario and Manitoba) that are known for their plain dress and limited use of modern conveniences such as automobiles and electricity. ...

A historic AFSC logo
A historic AFSC logo

They also developed plans for dealing with the United States Army, since it was very inconsistent in its dealing with religious objectors to previous wars. Although legally, members of pacifist churches were exempt from the draft, individual state draft boards interpreted the law in a variety of ways. Many Quakers and other COs were ordered to report to army camps for military service. Some COs, unaware of the significance of reporting for duty, found that this was interpreted by the military as willingness to fight. One of the AFSC's first tasks was to identify CO's, find the camps where they were located, and then visit them to provide spiritual guidance and moral support. In areas where the pacifist churches were more well known (such as Pennsylvania), a number of draft boards were willing to assign COs to the AFSC for alternative service. This is an old logo used by the American Friends Service Committee. ... The United States Army is one of the armed forces of the United States and has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ... Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes. ... A religious denomination, (also simply denomination) is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity. ... Official language(s) English, Pennsylvania Dutch Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ...


In addition to conducting alternative service programs for COs, the AFSC collected relief in the form of food, clothing, and other supplies for displaced persons in France. Quakers were asked to collect old and make new clothing; to grow fruits and vegetables, can them, and send them to the AFSC headquarters in Philadelphia, AFSC then shipped them to France. The AFSC also sent young women and men to work in France, where they worked with British Quakers to provide relief and medical care to refugees, repair and rebuild homes, and they jointly founded a maternity hospital. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with forced migration. ... For other uses, see Fruit (disambiguation). ... A plate of vegetables Tomatoes growing in a vegetable garden Vegetable is a culinary term which generally refers to an edible part of a plant. ... A physician visiting the sick in a hospital. ...


After the end of the war in 1918, the AFSC's began working in Russia, Serbia, and Poland with orphans and with the victims of famine and disease, and in Germany and Austria, where they set up kitchens to feed hungry children. Eventually AFSC was chartered by President Hoover to provide the United States sponsored relief to Germans. 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Anthem Serbia() on the European continent() Capital (and largest city) Belgrade Official languages Serbian written with the Cyrillic alphabet1 Government Parliamentary republic  -  President Boris Tadić  -  Prime Minister Vojislav KoÅ¡tunica Establishment  -  Formation 8th century   -  Independence c. ... Orphans, by Thomas Kennington An orphan (from the Greek ορφανός) is a person (or animal), who has lost both parents, often through death. ... A famine is a social and economic crisis that is commonly accompanied by widespread malnutrition, starvation, epidemic and increased mortality. ... Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) is best known as being the 31st (1929-1933) President of the United States. ...


During the 1930s and 1940s, the AFSC helped refugees escape from Nazi Germany, provided relief for children on both sides of the Spanish Civil War, and provided relief to refugees in Vichy France. After World War II ended, they did relief and reconstruction work in Europe, Japan, India, and China. In 1947 they worked to resettle refugees from the partition of India, and in the Gaza Strip. The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... This article is about the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939. ... Motto: Travail, famille, patrie (Work, family, country) unoccupied zone of Vichy France (until November 1942) Capital Vichy Language(s) French Religion Roman Catholicism Government Republic President of the Council  - 1940 - 1944 Philippe Pétain Legislature National Assembly Historical era World War II  - Battle of France June 16, 1940  - Battle of... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... Caution! This Article Is Under Construction This article or section is currently in the middle of an expansion or major revamping. ...


As the Cold War escalated, the AFSC was involved in relief and service efforts around the world in conflicts including the Korean War, the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and the 1962 Algerian war of independence. Beginning in 1966, the AFSC developed programs to help children and provided medical supplies and artificial limbs to civilians in both North Vietnam and South Vietnam. During the Nigerian-Biafran War, the AFSC provided relief to civilians on both the Nigerian and Biafran sides of the conflict. For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... Combatants United Nations:  Republic of Korea,  Australia,  Belgium,  Luxembourg,  Canada,  Colombia,  Ethiopia,  France,  Greece,  Luxembourg,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Philippines,  South Africa,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States Medical staff:  Denmark,  Australia,  Italy,  Norway,  Sweden Communist states:  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,  Peoples Republic of China,  Soviet Union Commanders... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Motto none Historically Regnum Mariae Patrona Hungariae (Latin) Kingdom of Mary the Patroness of Hungary Anthem Himnusz Hymn (God, bless the Hungarians) Hungary() – on the European continent() – in the European Union() [] Capital (and largest city) Budapest Official languages Hungarian (Magyar) Government Parliamentary republic  -  President László Sólyom  -  Prime minister... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Combatants FLN (1954-62) MNA (1954-62) France (1954-62) FAF (1960-61) OAS (1961-62) Commanders Mostefa Benboulaïd Ferhat Abbas Hocine Aït Ahmed Ahmed Ben Bella Krim Belkacem Larbi Ben MHidi Rabah Bitat Mohamed Boudiaf Messali Hadj General Jacques Massu General Maurice Challe Bachaga Said Boualam... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... A United States soldier demonstrates table football with two transradial prosthetic limbs. ... The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN), or less commonly, Vietnamese Democratic Republic (Vietnamese: Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cá»™ng Hòa), also known as North Vietnam, was proclaimed by Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, September 2nd1945 and was recognized by the Peoples Republic of China and the... Official language Vietnamese Capital Saigon Last President Duong Van Minh Last Prime Minister Vu Van Mau Area  - Total  - % water 173,809 km² N/A Population  - Total  - Density 19,370,000 (1973 est. ... National motto: Peace, Unity, Freedom Official language English Capital Enugu Head of State Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Area ?- Total ?- % water Population;- Total 13,500,000 (1967) Currency Biafran pound (BIAP) Created May 30, 1967 Dissolved January 15, 1970 Demonym Biafran The Republic of Biafra was a short-lived secessionist state in...


In 1955, the Committee published the most important statement of pacifism ever produced in the United States, "Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence." Focused on the Cold War, the 71-page pamphlet asserted that it sought "to give practical demonstration to the effectiveness of love in human relations." It was widely commented on in the press, both secular and religious.


In the United States, the AFSC continued the Quaker tradition of support for the American Civil Rights Movement, and the rights of African-Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Asian Americans, including providing support for Japanese-Americans during their internment during World War II. The AFSC also has worked extensively as part of the peace movement, especially work to stop the production and deployment of nuclear weapons. Martin Luther King is perhaps most famous for his I Have a Dream speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom This article is about the civil rights movement following the Brown v. ... Languages Predominantly American English Religions Protestantism (chiefly Baptist and Methodist); Roman Catholicism; Islam Related ethnic groups Sub-Saharan Africans and other African groups, some with Native American groups. ... Native Americans are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska. ... The ethnonym Mexican-American describes United States citizens of Mexican ancestry (14 million in 2003) and Mexican citizens who reside in the US (10 million in 2003). ... An Asian American is a person of Asian ancestry or origin who was born in or is an immigrant to the United States. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Jerome Relocation Camp The Japanese American internment refers to the exclusion and subsequent removal of approximately 112,000 to 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans, officially described as persons of Japanese ancestry, 62% of whom were United States citizens, from the west coast of the United States during World War... A peace movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war (or all wars), minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, often linked to the goal of achieving world peace. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ...


Programs and projects

Today the AFSC has more than two hundred staff working in dozens of programs throughout the United States and works in twenty-two other nations. In the United States AFSC has divided the country into nine regions, each of which runs programs related to peace, immigrant rights, restorative justice, civil rights, and other causes. AFSC's international programs often work in conjunction with the Canadian Friends Service Committee, Quaker Peace and Social Witness (formerly the British Friends Service Council), and Quaker Service Australia. Restorative justice is a theory of criminal justice that focuses on crime as an act against another individual or community rather than the state. ... Quaker Peace and Social Witness are an organisation of Quakers in Britan that work to promote and put into practice the Quaker testimonies of equality, integrety, simplicity and peace. ...


The AFSC is still based in Philadelphia in Friends Center, a building attached to the Cherry Street Meetinghouse, one of the oldest churches in the United States.


Among the many ongoing programs of AFSC, in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq War, AFSC launched the Eyes Wide Open Exhibit [1]. This exhibit travels around the United States displaying in public spaces one pair of combat boots for each American killed in the ongoing fighting in Iraq. Additionally, more than one thousand pairs of donated civilian shoes are displayed as a reminder of the Iraqis killed in the conflict. The exhibit is intended as a reminder of the human costs of war. For other uses of the term, see Iraq war (disambiguation) The 2003 invasion of Iraq (also called the 2nd or 3rd Persian Gulf War) began on March 20, 2003, when forces belonging primarily to the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq without the explicit backing of the United...


AFSC also provides administrative support to the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in New York City. This office is the official voice of Quakerism in the United Nations headquarters. There is a second QUNO office in Geneva, Switzerland, support for that office is provided by European Friends. QUNO is overseen by the Friends World Committee for Consultation. New York, NY redirects here. ... The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ... Coat of arms of the Canton of Geneva Coat of arms of the City of Geneva Geneva (French: Genève, German: Genf, Italian: Ginevra, Romansh Genevra, Spanish: Ginebra) is the second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zurich), located where Lake Geneva (French: Lac de Genève or Lac L... Friend World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is a Quaker organization that works to communicate between all parts of Quakerism. ...


Criticism

For its anti-war and anti-capital punishment stance, the AFSC receives criticism from many socially conservative groups. Also, throughout much of the group's history the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has monitored the work of the organization.[1][2] The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ...


See also

Philadelphia Portal

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a Quaker lobby in the public interest. ... The Peace Testimony, also known as the Testimony Against War, is a shorthand description of the stand generally taken by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) against participation in war, and against military service as combatants. ... Image File history File links Portal. ...

External links

References

  1. ^ Documents released under the freedom of information act are hosted on the FBI's website
  2. ^ AFSC is currently working with the ACLU on several efforts to end spying by local police, the FBI, the Pentagon and the NSA targeted at AFSC and other organizations.

  Results from FactBites:
 
American Friends Service Committee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1028 words)
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) affiliated organization which works for social justice, peace and reconciliation, abolition of the death penalty, and human rights, and provides humanitarian relief.
As the Cold War escalated, the AFSC was involved in relief and service efforts around the world in conflicts including the Korean War, the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and the 1962 Algerian war of independence.
The AFSC is still based in Philadelphia in a building attached to the Cherry Street Meetinghouse (one of the oldest churches in the United States).
American Friends Service Committee, Case No. VFA0542, January 10, 2000 (1331 words)
On December 10, 1999, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) filed an Appeal from a final determination that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Energy (DOE) issued on November 3, 1999.
AFSC argues that the withheld portions of Document 39 are outside the scope of Exemptions 6 or 7(C).
AFSC states that OIG should not have redacted information from the document under Exemption 6 because it is not a document found in a personnel or medical file.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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