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What is a
conscientious objector? A conscientious
objector, or CO, is someone who refuses to go to
war because it is against his or her conscience.
You can think of a conscience as a sense of
right and wrong. COs believe that it is wrong to
go to war. They do not want to hurt or kill
people. They do not want to join the military or
support it in any way.
This web site will help you to
understand the conscientious objector
experience in Canada during the Second World
War. Through pictures, words, and voices you
will meet the men who chose to be COs. You
will find out why they became COs and what
happened to them during the war.
The web site will also raise some
questions about what you believe and why you
believe it. Canada has not been involved in a
war where the government imposed military
conscription since the Second World War, but
it is important to think about what would
happen if you had to make a hard choice like
the conscientious objectors did.
If Canada did go to war, what would
Look through the
web site. When you are done, think about what
you've read, seen, and heard. Then ask yourself
the question again: If Canada went to war, what
would you do?
respect life and freedom and seek to live in
peaceful existence with God's creation. While we
acknowledge the sincerity of those who serve in
the military, we believe in the power of truth,
justice, and love rather than in the power of
war. We respect those who answered the call to
arms during the Second World War. We also deeply
appreciate that Mennonites were able to respond
in ways that reflected our convictions. We
believe that the story of conscientious
objectors is an important part of history.
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