All Christians should wear white poppies during Remembrance, says a leading ecumenical peace charity.
In a week when white poppies in schools hit the headlines, the Fellowship of Reconciliation said that Christians should care equally about everyone impacted by conflict. Red poppies only remember British soldiers and those who fought alongside them, whereas white poppies are in memory of all those affected by war.
“If we believe that all life is sacred and we are all God’s children, we should be holding everyone in our prayers”, said Oliver Robertson from the Fellowship of Reconciliation. “The Royal British Legion says that it advocates a specific type of Remembrance connected to the British Armed Forces, but Christians don’t just care about people from their country. That’s why we say that white poppies are the Christian thing to wear at Remembrance, with or without a red poppy alongside.”
As well as being a symbol of remembrance for all victims of wars, past and present, white poppies also demonstrate a commitment to peace and a rejection of attempts to glamourise war.
“We have been disturbed by the change in emphasis of Remembrance over the last couple of decades, from ‘never again’ to ‘support our troops’”, said Oliver Robertson. “This does nothing to stop more people dying in conflicts, which – as anyone who has been at the sharp end of war will tell you – is a horrible, terrifying, dehumanising experience.”
The Fellowship of Reconciliation has prepared prayers for peace that can be used on or around Remembrance Sunday, as well as information on its website about how and where to buy white poppies.