American Friends Service Committee

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American Friends Service Committee

(AFSC), organization est. 1917 by the Religious Society of FriendsFriends, Religious Society of,
religious body originating in England in the middle of the 17th cent. under George Fox. The members are commonly called Quakers, originally a term of derision.
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 (Quakers) that provides social services and information to the public in an attempt to promote international peace and reconciliation. Based in Philadelphia, it maintains offices throughout the United States. During World War I it supplied Quakers and other conscientious objectorsconscientious objector,
person who, on the grounds of conscience, resists the authority of the state to compel military service. Such resistance, emerging in time of war, may be based on membership in a pacifistic religious sect, such as the Society of Friends (Quakers), the
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 with noncombat service roles, such as positions in relief programs and ambulance corps. Since then, it has widened its mission to provide humanitarian aid worldwide, e.g., relief and rehabilitation for victims of war and resettlement and aid for refugees. It has also worked to end capital punishmentcapital punishment,
imposition of a penalty of death by the state. History

Capital punishment was widely applied in ancient times; it can be found (c.1750 B.C.) in the Code of Hammurabi.
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, ameliorate poverty, and promote human rightshuman rights,
universal rights held to belong to individuals by virtue of their being human, encompassing civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights and freedoms, and based on the notion of personal human dignity and worth.
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. In 1947 the AFSC shared the Nobel Peace Prize with its British counterpart, the Friends Service CouncilFriends Service Council
(FSC), standing committee est. 1927 by the Religious Society of Friends that was responsible for the overseas work of Quakers from Great Britain and Ireland.
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. Since the 1950s the organization has increasingly focused on programs of social and technical assistance "designed to relieve the tensions that lead to war."
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