UPDATED June 17th, 2017

The world is a scary place. It’s easy to focus on the things that are going wrong and to worry about those people who are bringing danger and harm. But in honor of World Peace Day on November 17, we thought it would be uplifting to focus on the famous pacifists who have inspired change for the better. They pushed for diplomatic resolutions and fought to defend peace in our world. And it is because of them that we can enjoy the freedom and joy that we do.


Why did these historical pacifists do what they did to protect the lives and independence of others? After all, many of them paid for their actions with the ultimate sacrifice—death. But they did it anyway. As Sophie Scholl, a member of the Anti-Nazi movement once said, “Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare express themselves as we did.” It takes bravery and passion to try to inspire change, and these 20 pacifists did it peacefully and with honor.

Today, we celebrate everything they did for us and how they continue to impact our lives: