These testimonies have changed over the years as we want them to reflect current society and its issues. Today their focus is on peace, equality, truth and simplicity.
Our testimonies encourage us to work locally and globally for social justice, support peacemakers and care for the environment. It's not always easy to live this way, but as Quakers we try to help, support and encourage each other to keep trying.
Quakers are perhaps best known for our peace testimony (Quaker faith & practice website), which comes from our belief that love is at the centre of existence and all humans are equal in God's eyes. It has led Quakers to refuse military service and become involved in a variety of peace activities. These range from practical work in areas affected by violent conflict to developing alternatives to violence at all levels – from the personal to the international.
Quakers believe everyone is equal. This means working to change the systems that cause injustice and hinder true community. It also means working with people who suffer injustice, such as prisoners and asylum seekers. This testimony led us to campaign for marriage equality (Quaker faith & practice website).
Truth and integrity
Quakers try to live according to the deepest truth we know, which we believe comes from God. This means speaking the truth to all, including people in positions of power. As we are guided by integrity, so we expect to see it in public life.
Simplicity and sustainability
Quakers are concerned about the excesses and unfairness of our consumer society and the unsustainable use of natural resources. We try to live simply and to find space for the things that really matter: the people around us, the natural world, our experience of God.