Fellowship of Reconciliation

Working for peace & justice through nonviolence since 1915.

About FOR

The oldest interfaith peace & justice organization in the U.S.

Since 1915, the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) has carried on programs and educational projects concerned with domestic and international peace and justice, nonviolent alternatives to conflict, and the rights of conscience. An interfaith, tax-exempt organization, FOR promotes active nonviolence and has members from many religious, spiritual, and ethnic traditions. FOR is a U.S. based branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) with affiliates in over 50 countries.

FOR's Work Strengthening, building & demilitarizing

Strengthening Movements for Justice & Peace

Wake Your Ass up action photo credit Rebecca Lawrence

FOR staff and National Council members worked with white organizers in Minneapolis under the guidance of Black activists in response to the murder of Philando Castile and other Black people by police. Photo by Rebecca Lawrence.

Strategic nonviolent movements are one of the most potent forces in the world. They oust dictators, change policy and realize the hopes of communities. Whether through supporting conscientious objectors of war or hosting trainings as part of #BlackLivesMatter, for over 100 years FOR has strengthened the movements that reshape society.

  • Tools for Movement Building What We Offer

  • Militant Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Trainings

    Preparing communities for targeted nonviolent action grounded in deep abiding love.
  • Movement Infrastructure Consultation & Support

    Strengthening structures of collaboration, support and accountability within movements for longevity and impact.
  • Theological Grounding

    Engaging the theology of nonviolent resistance.
  • Resource Hub

    Connecting movement builders with curricula, readings, toolkits and opportunities for exchange of methods and ideas.
  • Fiscal Sponsorships

    Fiduciary oversight, financial management and other administrative services to help build the capacity of nascent programs/campaigns aligned with our mission.
  • A homebase for Nonviolent Struggle

    For 100 years FOR has provided a network for those organizing, advocating and living the way of nonviolence.

Building Healthy Communities

FOR supporters at a nonviolence training

FOR supporters at a nonviolence training.

Relationships established through strong communities are the glue of our work. We ground ourselves in relationships of accountability and a spirituality that spans faith traditions. We help build communities that reflect our vision of Beloved Community.

Demilitarizing Lives in the U.S. & Abroad

FOR supporters at an anti-drone action

FOR supporters at an anti-drone action.

We see nonviolence as a way of life, a moral commitment, and a social tool. As a branch of IFOR's international network we work with partners around the world to end militarism in all of its forms.

  • Our Work Includes

  • UN Representation
  • Anti-Drone Program
  • International Delegations to Korea, Palestine & Elsewhere
  • Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
  • #GiveRefugeesRest

History of the Fellowship of Reconciliation

FOR supporters at an anti-draft action

FOR supporters at an anti-draft action

Founding of the Fellowship

In 1914 an ecumenical conference was held in Switzerland by Christians seeking to prevent the outbreak of war in Europe. Before the conference ended World War I began and those present had to return to their respective countries.

At a railroad station in Germany two of the participants Henry Hodgkin (an English Quaker) and Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze (a German Lutheran) pledged to find a way of working for peace even though their countries were at war. Out of this pledge Christians gathered in Cambridge, England in December 1914 to found the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The U.S. FOR was founded one year later, in November 1915, at a conference in Garden City, Long Island, New York.

FOR has since become an interfaith and international movement with branches and affiliated groups in over 50 countries and on every continent. Today the membership of FOR includes Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Indigenous religious practitioners, Baha'i, and people of other faith traditions, as well as those with no formal religious affiliation.

Highlights from FOR's History

  • 1916-1917

    Helps organize the National Civil Liberties Bureau, now the ACLU. Supports World War I conscientious objectors (CO) and contributes to legal recognition of CO rights.
  • 1920s

    Helps organize the National Conference of Christians and Jews (now the National Conference on Community and Justice). Sends a peace delegation to meet Sandino in Nicaragua.
  • 1930s

    Works to strengthen the labor movement in its drive to secure better working conditions. Sponsors Ambassadors of Reconciliation to visit world leaders.
  • 1940s

    Encourages nonviolent resistance to World War II. Leads the struggle against internment of Japanese Americans. European FOR members rescue Jews and other political refugees fleeing Nazism. Sponsors an interracial team on the first "freedom ride" to test court decision outlawing discrimination in interstate travel. Organizes extensive campaign to prevent the Pentagon from extending wartime conscription into universal military training.
  • 1950s

    Helps organize the American Committee on Africa (now part of Africa Action) to support the movements for African independence. Conducts six-year Food for China program in response to Chinese famines. FOR staff work with Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Montgomery bus boycott, and hold workshops in nonviolence throughout the South. Produces a full-color comic book, Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, that sells over 250,000 copies.
  • 1960s

    Launches Shelters for the Shelterless, building real shelters for homeless people, in response to increasing public demand for fallout shelters. Makes contact with Vietnamese Buddhist pacifist movement and sponsors world tour by Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. Forms International Committee of Conscience on Vietnam with 10,000 clergy in 40 countries. Raises money for medical aid for both sides in Vietnam.
  • 1970s

    Founds Dai Dong, a transnational project linking war, environmental problems, poverty and other social issues, involving thousands of scientists around the world. Seeks to reverse the Cold War and the arms race with campaigns, marches, educational projects and civil disobedience. Opposes death penalty in concerted campaign with ACLU.
  • 1980s

    Takes the lead in initiating the Nuclear Freeze Campaign in cooperation with other groups. Initiates U.S.-U.S.S.R. reconciliation program, including people-to-people exchanges, artistic and educational resources, teach-ins and conferences. Leads nonviolence training seminars in the Philippines prior to the nonviolent overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship.
  • 1990s

    Sends delegations of religious leaders and peace activists to Iraq to try to prevent war and later, to see the massive devastation caused by the economic sanctions imposed upon Iraq. Starts the Campaign to Save a Generation, an ongoing project centered on saving Iraqi children from the horrors of the sanctions, and American children from the poverty rampant in the United States. Launches "Stop the Killing, Start the Healing" campaign in response to escalating levels of gun violence in the United States. Initiates Bosnian Student Project, bringing students from the former Yugoslavia out of war zones and into U.S. homes and schools, and later starts the International Reconciliation Work Camp Project. Works to bring an end to the suffering of the Serbs and Kosovars during and after the war in former Yugoslavia. Works to ensure the U.S. military's withdrawal from Panama.
  • 2000s

    Organizes a People's Campaign for Peace and Justice to inspire nonviolent witness in Washington, DC and nationwide. Accepts invitation from the Colombian Peace Community of San José de Apartadó to provide protective human rights accompaniment in a rural war zone in northwestern Colombia. Launches the I Will Not Kill campaign for young people to make a life commitment to resist participating in violence. Pressures the U.S. military to end its testing of bombs in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and to be accountable for the environmental devastation of the island. Sends delegations of people committed to civilian diplomacy to Iran to build relationships between the West and Iran, and to seek to prevent military intervention.

Historical Quotes from FOR Supporters

Our Nonviolent Narrative

FOR perpetuates and strengthens the story of nonviolence and illuminates nonviolent practices in the world today through various media and communication vehicles. Since 1918, FOR has produced newsletters and a national journal to help shape and reflect the movement's learning on the power of nonviolent social change through the work of its chapters and affiliates.

Witness Newsletter

Witness Newsletter

Witness is a biannual newsletter that offers updates and upcoming events from FOR’s local chapters, affiliates, staff, and national council. All lifetime members of the fellowship and donors within the last year receive Witness in their mailboxes in spring and autumn.

Fellowship Magazine

Fellowship Magazine

Fellowship is a biannual print magazine circulated in summer and winter that provides the best of today's cutting-edge peace and justice movements in this era of dramatic global change.

Begun in 1918, Fellowship is the oldest continuously-published spiritually-rooted peace journal in the United States.

This interfaith magazine of nonviolence contains articles and information that inspire and educate people concerned about peace, justice, and compassion in the world. Through the publication of analytical insights, spiritual visions, and personal journeys, Fellowship helps people of faith and conscience commit themselves more deeply to a nonviolent world of justice, peace, and freedom.