The Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SweFOR) is a nonviolent movement promoting justice and peace, general and total disarmament as well as a society without violence.
We believe that many small achievements put together can lead to change. The principle that guides and inspires us is nonviolence.
We hold courses in nonviolence and conflict management, we work with religious dialogue and have an active role in the fight against prejudices and xenophobia. We support local peace workers in different areas of the world by sending peace observers to Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia and support human rights activists in Palestine, West Sahara as well as Sudan. Furthermore we closely scrutinize EU's and Sweden’s actions in matters of security policy in order to influence its development towards justice and peace. We attempt to prevent violence by opposing arms production and trade and encourage churches and other religious communities to act for peace and renounce violence.
In a world where people often react to conflict either by being passive or resorting to violence, we believe that there is a third way, the way of nonviolence.
SweFOR has a long history of working for peace and reconciliation through active nonviolence. We are a Christian, ecumenical member-based civil society organisation, founded in 1919. Our 2000 members come from all denominations. SweFOR is the Swedish branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, IFOR.
We have a range of programs aimed at promoting a peace culture, in Sweden and the world:
We give courses in nonviolence, conflict resolution and peaceful conflict management.
We send volunteers to Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia, where they support local peace-building efforts and protect human rights defenders.
We work for disarmament and improved control over the arms trade through codes of conduct, laws and regulations.
We support ecumenical actions for peace and disarmament.
We promote peace and reconciliation in the Middle East through advocacy work.
Together with other civil society actors, we develop methods and strengthen the capacity to prevent violence and armed conflict.
1919 875 members left The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society in order to focus more on issues related to conscientious objection and turned to the Churches. They founded Svenska Världsfredmissionen (SVFM).
1922 SVFM demanded to replace military service with civilian service.
1930 SVFM issues protest to the government concerning the Bofors Weapon’s Deal
1931 SVFM joins Kristna Krigstjänstvägrarrörelsen.
1939-1945 During WWII many conscientious objectors are arrested (50 persons in 1942) and SVFM establishes a support fund for the families affected by the arrests.
1963-1965 SVFM takes initiative for an inquiry for the possibility to do unarmed service.
1968 SVFM joins the radical pacifist section of Förbundet for Kristet Samhällsliv, Svenska Försoningsförbundet. Consequently the association joins the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR).
1977 SVFM changes name to Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SweFOR)
1981 SweFOR collects 56.000 signatures for a petition against weapon trade to the Swedish Parliament (Riksdagen).
1980s The movement is very active in these years by promoting demonstrations, lectures, studies, courses in civil disobedience, surveys on communions’ arms shares and much more.
1991 Finally the SweFOR’s campaign for the right to unarmed service without special individual examination puts up results.
1994-97 Peace observers are sent to Guatemala.
2000 Peace observers are sent to Guatemala and Mexico (Chiapas). Every year four observers are sent to Guatemala and three to Mexico.
2004 Peace observers are sent to Colombia. Every year eight observers are sent to Colombia.
2010 Starts the cooperation “Friends of Salaam” (Salaams vänner) with the organization Swedish Muslims for Peace and Justice.