The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


ELCA pastor jailed for his war protests

It’s not every day police arrest a 50-something man in a clerical collar for trespassing on private property and obstructing public walkways. But John Dornheim, 51, an ELCA pastor living in Baltimore, was jailed twice for participating in nonviolent protests of the U.S. war with Iraq.

He was one of eight people arrested and “banned for life” from a Baltimore shopping mall, where they distributed anti-war fliers March 1. The fliers listed reasons against going to war and encouraged people to sign the Iraq Pledge of Resistance (www.peacepledge.org). The pastor, who is one leave from call, says the group mostly heard favorable interest from mall shoppers. “We weren’t there to engage anybody in debate or cause a disruption,” he said. “We were merely trying to get the message out.”

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Embracing diversity