A Peace Pole is a stele or monument that displays the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the language of the country where it has been placed. There are usually an additional three or more translations of the same message depending upon the preferences of the owners and location.
St. Bart's New Peace Pole
The Peace Pole was conceived by Masahisa Goi. Born in Japan in 1916, Mr. Goi lived through World War II and saw the devastation war caused in his homeland and throughout the world. As a result of the impact this had on him, he dedicated himself in service to humanity and the attainment of global peace and harmony. The Peace Poles grew out of his spiritual efforts.
The first Peace Poles were erected in Japan around 1976 and spread outside Japan beginning in 1983. Since then, Peace Poles have spread throughout the world. It’s estimated that there are now more than 200,000 Peace Poles in more than 190 countries.
The Peace Pole Project today is promoted by the World Peace Prayer Society and other groups and individuals. The World Peace Prayer Society is a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization headquartered in Wassaic, New York.
There are Peace Poles on the Allenby Bridge between Israel and Jordan, at Machu Picchu, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in South Africa, at the site of the baptism of Jesus at Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan, at the Pentagon, and at schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples across the United States and around the world. Many Episcopal Churches throughout the U.S. have erected Peace Poles.
Peace Poles can be made of any material, though most are wood. Some are hand-carved. The pole at St. Bart’s is commercially made of wood with the text screen printed on Plexiglas panels. We selected four languages for our pole: English, Spanish, Hebrew for the Old Testament, and Greek representing the New Testament.
Installation and display of Peace Poles do not tie an organization to any commitment nor do they signify participation in any organization, religion, or political activity. They are intended to serve as visible reminders of the desire for universal peace and as inspiration to work toward that goal.
The physical Peace Poles symbolize the oneness of humanity and a common wish for a world at peace, remind us to think, speak and act in the spirit of peace and harmony, and stand as a silent visual for peace to prevail on earth.
As Christians, the Peace Pole reminds us of the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”