1) Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.

It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.

It is assertive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.


2) Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.

The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.

The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.


3) Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.

Nonviolence holds that evil doers are also victims.

The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil, not people.


4) Nonviolence holds that voluntary suffering can educate and transform.

Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.

Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary, but will never inflict it.

Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its acts.

Unearned voluntary suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming


Voluntary suffering can have the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.


5) Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.

Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.

Nonviolent love gives willingly, even knowing that it might face hostility.

Nonviolent love is active, not passive.

Nonviolent love is unending in its ability to forgive in order to restore community.

Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater.

Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves.

Love restores community and resists injustice.

Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated.


6) Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.

The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.

Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice and love.


This summary of M.L. King, Jr.’s principles was adapted by the Fellowship of Reconciliation from

King’s book Stride Toward Freedom (New York: Harper & Row, 1958).