For Peace in God's World conveys ELCA teaching on matters related to war, domestic and international security, and the Christian call to be peacemakers. The statement is grounded in the scriptural understanding that God desires shalom (the Hebrew word for complete well-being of all) but that such eternal peace is fragile and imperfect within even the best earthly peace and well-being that human beings may achieve. Because of the sin-filled reality of earthly life, this statement affirms just war teaching in the service of just peace, with attention to what this means for culture, economics, politics, military conduct and international security.

The statement also recognizes the significant witness of conscientious objectors and others who, as a matter of faith, cannot condone war in any circumstances. It calls all disciples to be advocates for a Christian peacemaking that strives for human rights, political alternatives to war, social justice, control of the arms trade, and creative means of working for peace in God’s world. This social statement was adopted by the 1995 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.


What does it mean to be peacemakers in a time of ongoing war and conflict? Can war ever be just? What is a “just peace”? A new study guide will help your group explore these and other critical, timely questions. Through prayer, videos, and guided discussion, the five sessions of the study guide engage the meaning of the social statement for our world today. Follow the links below to access a leader’s guide and a participant’s guide to get started.

Follow these links to find resources for understanding this social statement: