Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pax (Latin for "peace"), the term used to designate the foreign service for I-W men (conscientious objectors drafted into service by the United States Office of Selective Service) administered by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Established in 1951, Pax men served in Germany since 1951 in building programs at Niederbieber near Neuwied, Espelkamp, Backnang near Stuttgart, Lübeck, Enkenbach near Kaiserslautern, Bechterdissen near Bielefeld, Wedel near Hamburg; in Vienna, Austria (1955- ); in Krefeld; and in Algeria (1955- ). The Algerian project had been administered by the Mennonite (Mennonite Church) Relief and Service Committee of Elkhart, IN. Pax construction provided housing for 370 Mennonite refugee families in Germany, meetinghouses for the Mennonite congregations at Niederbieber, Backnang, Enkenbach, Wedel, and Bechterdissen; aid in rebuilding the bombed Protestant Karlsschule in Vienna, aid in constructing a community and youth center for the Krefeld Mennonite Church; and in Algeria some 30 homes for Arab refugees. Other major Pax projects included agricultural improvement in Panayitsa and Tsakones, two villages in northern Greece (1952- ); flood cleanup work near Vlissingen, Holland (1953); service to Hungarian refugees in Austria (1956-57); Korean relief (1954- ); road building in Peru (1954- ) and the Paraguayan Chaco (1956- ); various types of service in Jordan, Nepal, Vietnam, Liberia, and scattered individuals. A total of over 200 Pax men had served a period of two years (Europe) or three years 10 (Asia) overseas in all the projects by 1958. In 1958 the number in service was 110. A few men from Canada were used in Pax, even though Canada had no draft. Pax had been financed in two ways: (1) by contributions of $75 per month by the Pax man or his denominational service office, or (2) by wages paid by certain employing agencies, such as the Le-Tourneau Foundation in Peru.

A similar service program for European conscientious objectors, called Eirene (Greek for "peace"), was established in 1957 by conjoint action of the Mennonite Central Committee and the Brethren Service Committee. Its first project was one for agricultural improvement in Morocco.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Pax." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 16 Jul 2024.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Pax. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 July 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 129. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.