For centuries Quakers have objected to war and armed service on grounds of conscience, and fought for the right to conscientious objection in law in 1916. Conscientious objection in Britain today can be seen as upholding the right to refuse to pay for others to kill on our behalf.

Quakers also campaign for exemption to military taxation. In Britain, there has not been military conscription since 1963, but UK residents continue to pay for war through taxes.

Read more about the history of Quaker conscientious objection during wartime.

Take action

    International Conscientious Objectors Day

    15 May marks International Conscientious Objection Day, celebrating resisters of war past and present. Quakers join people of all faiths and none at these events.

    Let us know if you're holding your own commemoration. Possible venues are listed by the Peace Pledge Union.

    Write to prisoners for peace

    You can support conscientious objectors who have been imprisoned for refusing to join the military by writing to them.

    Each year on 1 December, supporters of conscientious objection mark Prisoners for Peace Day. War Resisters' International publishes a list of prisoners who are either conscientious objectors or who have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war.

    Find out more

    • Visit Conscience, the national NGO campaigning for an increase in the proportion of tax spent on peacebuilding. They also push for the legal right to choose for taxes to be spent on peacebuilding instead of the armed forces.
    • Visit War Resisters' International, the organisation supporting conscientious objectors and nonviolent resistance to war around the world.

    Contact us

    Daniel Jakopovich

    Peace & Disarmament Programme Manager

    020 7663 1090