1914 Opposing the Great War

People of conscience from throughout Europe gathered in the city of Constance, Germany to express their opposition to the impending world war. British Quaker Henry Hodgkin, and German protestant Friedrich Sigmund-Schultze make a commitment in Cologne that while their countries may be at war with each other, “We are one in Christ and can never be at war.”

The Fellowship of Reconciliation is established in Britain and Versöhnungsbund in Germany in the midst of war, inspiring similar Christian pacifist groups in the Netherlands, Sweden, the USA, Denmark and Germany. 600 British FOR members are sent to prison for refusing military service, while the founder of the FOR/Germany is sentenced to death for organizing aid for British prisoners of war.

1926 IFOR & Gandhi

Gandhi invites IFOR Travelling Secretary Muriel Lester to India in support of the independence movement.

1919 First Peace Project

Christian pacifists from 10 different countries meet in the Netherlands to establish the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. IFOR's first project is the evacuation of hundreds of starving children from Austria to Britain.

1920 Establishing Service Civil

IFOR Secretary Pierre Cérésole establishes Service Civil (International Voluntary Service for Peace), which organizes work camps in areas torn apart by war, with volunteers from former enemy countries.

1928 Reconciling Europe

The IFOR office in Vienna, Austria, works for reconciliation between Poland and Germany.




1933 Impending War

The IFOR office in Vienna, Austria is shut down by the Nazis.

1940's World War II

In France, IFOR members André and Magda Trocmé, with the help of the villagers of le Chambon sur Lignon, save the lives of thousands of Jews escaping the Holocaust. In Belgium, feminist Magda Yoors Peeters defends Jewish refugees and conscientious objectors. In the USA, the FOR leads the struggle against internment of Japanese Americans.

1935 FOR & Gandhi

FOR-USA member Howard Thurman becomes the first African American to meet with Mahatma Gandhi and returns to the United States to teach others about his experience.

1949 World Pacifist Conference

The World Pacifist Conference is held at Shantiniketan and Sevagram, India. IFOR members in attendance include George Paine of the U.S.A., Manilal Gandhi of South Africa, Mildred Fahrni of Canada, Herberto Sein of Mexico, Andre and Magda Trocmé from France. The members present supported the establishment of an FOR in India.

Muriel Lester and Acharya KK Chandy traveled throughout India representing IFOR and convened a conference at Christavashram, Manganam, Kottayam, Kerala from Nov 28 to December 2, 1950. This Conference was presided over by Muriel Lester and had delegates like Dr. JC Kumarapp, Mahatma Gandhi's associate from Sevagram, VK Cherian and Chandapillay. FOR India was born. In 1953, FOR began publishing a news magazine called ARUNODAYAM which served as the IFOR Voice in South Asia.




1950's International Reconciliation

In Korea, FOR member Ham Sok Hon is jailed for advocating peaceful co-existence between North and South Korea. In the USA, the FOR fights racial segregation, pioneering attempts to apply the tactics used by Mahatma Gandhi in India in the racial justice struggle in the US; in Europe, IFOR travelling secretaries Jean and Hildegard Goss Mayr work for reconciliation between East and West.

1960's Peace Work in Latin America

The Goss-Mayrs conduct nonviolence trainings throughout Latin America, leading to the 1975 founding of the Latin American peace and justice network Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ).

1968 Opposing Vietnam

FOR/USA invites Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn (later nominated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize) on a speaking tour seeking an end to the war in Vietnam.

1958 Independence in the Congo

IFOR leader in Belgium, Jean Van Lierde created the “African Presence of Friends” which worked to develop a nonviolent strategy for the independence of Congo and demonstrating actively against the Belgian government. Van Lierde was a friend and advisor to Patrice Lumumba , the first Prime Minister of independent Congo, murdered in 1961 and encouraged Lumumba to utter his famous anti-colonial discourse during the independence ceremony of the Congo, which sharply criticized the paternalism King Baudouin.

1964 Dr. King Receives the Nobel Prize

FOR- USA Member, Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace and travels to Oslo to accept the prize.




1972 Environmental Imperatives

FOR calls for an “ecological imperative” at its Dai Dong (Chinese for “A world of great togetherness”) conference in Stockholm and for a mass environmental movement.

1983 Opposing Apartheid

IFOR field workers Anita Kromberg and Richard Steele begin a decade of work for a free democratic South Africa. They worked opposing apartheid, conducted nonviolent trainings, supported efforts to free Nelson Mandela and to lift the ban on the African National Congress. IFOR branches around the world engage in solidarity campaigns to end Apartheid.

1986 “People Power” in the Philippines

In February, His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, calls on people to protect the soldiers who broke away from the ruling dictator, millions of people in the Philippines gather at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue to block the route of the dictator's soldiers and guard important communications facilities. Mass actions and protests all over the country led to the downfall of the dictator. This eventually was referred to as “People Power.”

1996-1997 Peace Negotiations in Chad

IFOR branch in Chad, the Tchadian Non-Violence Association in collaboration with other Tchadian human rights groups, initiated negotiations between the rebels of the Forces Armées pour la République Fédérale (FARF) and government forces aimed at ending the conflict between the two parties. A peace agreement signed on 18 April did not last as government forces started attacking FARF forces based in Moundou on 30 October 1997 (ibid.).

The civilian population, members of human rights organizations and journalists also became targets of government repression. Among those “arrested, tortured and deported” were the daughters of Beasso'umda Juhen, the president of Tchadian Non-Violence Association, and Mougnan Ngaba, its Secretary-General

1976 UN Human Rights Commission

FOR India’s ARUNODAYAM which started publication from 1953 was not allowed continue because of the Emergency declared by the Government.

Founding member of SERPAJ, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel initiates an international campaign aimed at persuading the United Nations to establish a Human Rights Commission, at this comission a document was drawn up recording breaches of human rights violations in Latin America.

1984 Nonviolence in the Philippines

In the Philippines, Fr. Jose C. Blanco, SJ, founded Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan (Action for Peace) and the Center for Active Non-Violence (CANV) after being inspired by visits from Hildegard Goss Mayr and Jean Goss. Through its Formation-Information-Transformation (FIT) AKKAPKA-CANV conducts seminars all over the Philippines. Richards Deats of FOR USA visits the Philippines to encourage and support further trainings on nonviolence.

1990's Nonviolence in Palestine & Israel

Palestinians from within Israel and from the West Bank joined Israeli allies to create “Palestinians and Israelis for Nonviolence” and tried together to encourage the ideas and methods of nonviolence to end the Occupation and transform the conflict.

1997 Women's Peacemakers Program

Following decades of activism by women in IFOR (particularly in India) that called attention to violence against women and the way war impacts the lives of women the Women Peacemakers Program was established to systematically support and empower women's nonviolent activism by highlighting women's experiences of conflict and women’s contributions to peace building.

2000 & Beyond


2000 & Beyond

2001 Belgian Accountability

Jean Van Lierde testified in June 2001, before the Commission of Inquiry of the Belgian House of Representatives responsible for determining the exact circumstances and the involvement of Belgian politicians of the time in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba.

2004 Freedom of Information Request

In the USA, FOR obtains volumes of redacted records of the history of FBI Surveillance from its Freedom of Information Act Request filed in 1994.

2002 Protective Accompaniment

After awarding the Pfeffer Peace Prize to the community of San Jose de Apartado in Colombia in 1998, and following two massacre’s of the community by paramilitary forces in 2000, FOR USA is invited to partner with the community by providing a permanent protective accompaniment to the community reducing the likelihood of the community being targeted for attack.

2010 Nonviolence in Sudan

IFOR welcomes the Sudanese Organization for Nonviolence and Development into IFOR. SONAD was founded in 1994 in Khartoum at the peak of civil war. It started as an initiative of South Sudanese students among internally displaced persons. It had long been in partnership with various branches of IFOR.

After the vote of independence and the creation of South Sudan, SONAD and ONAD became two legally separate organizations limited by government and ongoing conflicts from cooperation but still connected with each other and still connected to IFOR.