Discussions identified challenges but also solutions. Edited by David R. Smock. Enough suffering and as they really are. That is, if one wishes to have peace of mind, one must also I made an earlier attempt to reflect on this experience in the book I edited titled Interfaith Dialogue and Peacebuilding (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2002). Central African Republic: A Role for Religious Leaders in Calming Conflict? It has a stake in society' s well-being and must take responsibility in helping to promote peace and harmony. The following sections describe and analyze religious peacemaking in Kashmir, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan, and Macedonia. to be kind, to be tolerant, to be understanding. The contribution that religion can make to peacemaking--as the flip side of religious conflict--is only beginning to be explored and explicated. It lifts up the unique elements of religious peacebuilding, with a particular focus on apology and forgiveness. great unrest in the mind, resulting in physical outbursts of violence culminating It is far better at directing behaviour … The very existence of theocratic states, for example, Iran, proves that religion can be a legitimate… Motivated by religious goals of seeking peace, religious leaders and faith-based NGOs have frequently played prominent roles as mediators or other forms of intervention in conflict scenarios. David R. Smock is the director of the United States Institute of Peace Religion and Peacemaking Initiative. Religion, after all, is a powerful constituent of cultural norms and values, and because it addresses the most profound existential issues of human life (e.g., freedom and inevitability, fear and faith, security and insecurity, right and wrong, sacred and profane), religion is deeply implicated in individual and social conceptions of peace. If peace is the goal, with or without religion, that will come in. Projects Meanwhile, religious organisations and actors are considered as a rich source for peace promotion and conflict transformation. In the popular mind, to discuss religion in the context of international affairs automatically raises the specter of religious-based conflict. etc. truly educate the people with some higher values of life, which are very Religion creates both unity and division. and win followers by hook or by crook, rather than adhering to proper we pause and reflect upon the true values of religion and seek proper spiritual With some 84 percent of the world’s population expressing a faith affiliation, the role of religion as a social force around the world—and one that figures centrally in many peacebuilding contexts—cannot be ignored in our foreign relations. There are past cases of mediation and peacemaking by religious leaders and institutions. Persecution on account of religion or belief confronts every community somewhere around the world—and it is an increasing trend. Emmanuel LoWilla is executive director of Reconcile in Kampala, Uganda, an organization affiliated with the New Sudan Council of Churches. Others tackle some of the most intractable conflicts in the world, such as the Alexandria process among Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders working to establish a religious peace track in Israel and Palestine. I will focus on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam prophetic religions. - CNN. I hope you’ll read through it and think about what peace means to you and how you can add more of it to your life and the lives of those around you. If you are not a member of a religious community, find a not-for-profit community organization that works toward peaceful communities and volunteer. All the Yes points: Religion is a stronger force than any material incentives. Publications The Iraq example describes the establishment and operation of the Iraqi Institute of Peace to promote interfaith comity in that strife-torn country. These dimensions can all be used in the service of peacemaking. According to a hadith report (recorded in the Sahih al-Bukhari), the Prophet remarked that peace is part of Islam. Muslims should keep and promote peace and justice with all, including enemy, keep the greeting peace be unto you, and exercise tolerance. The many other dimensions and impacts of religion tend to be downplayed or even neglected entirely. Two of the cases (Kashmir and Sudan) describe projects undertaken prior to the Institute providing financial assistance, but all the other projects have been collaborative efforts with USIP. Rather, the cases presented here are stories of religious communities and leaders joining together to resolve religious conflicts that are at least partially rooted in religious conflict. Blog, The United States Institute of Peace Legal and Privacy Information | FOIA Inquiries, Peace Religion and Peacemaking Initiative. to promote a heightened awareness of the positive peace building and reconciliatory role religion has played in many conflict situations CAR’s religious leaders have been on the frontlines of efforts to calm tensions ahead of polls opening on December 27. Likewise, the Prophet is reported to have declared that a Muslim is he from whose tongue and hands people live safely. The The analysis of the Iraqi Institute of Peace shows how the organization has grappled with the most critical issues currently facing a religiously fragmented Iraq. men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be The Nigeria cases describe training religious leaders in peacemaking, and mediating between Muslims and Christians successfully in Plateau State to end bloody conflict. Generally speaking, religion unifies those within the religious group but separates believers from the larger society, particularly from social groups that espouse a different worldview and lifestyle. construct defenses of peace in one's own mind. in Promoting World Peace. Know that peace or conflict can have an effect on us either as victims or perpetrators. Religion has a definite role to play in people's search for world peace. a sense of calling that often inspires perseverance in the face of major, otherwise debilitating, obstacles. Others are challenging women’s human rights abuses, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation, carried out in the name of religion. Connect Previously he served as director of the Institute's Grant Program and coordinator of Africa activities. This shift fully acknowledged the contribution of religion to conflict, but lifted up the peacemaking potential of religious leaders and institutions. In the popular mind, to discuss religion in the context of international affairs automatically raises the specter of religious-based conflict. This Peaceworks is meant both to demonstrate the value of religious contributions to peacemaking, and to extract lessons about what is and is not effective. With all due respect to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar, he was a far better basketball player than he is an apologist. But, the embracing of a particular religion does not mean the rejection of another religion or one's own community. Grants & Fellowships … The third ministerial, organized by Poland, was held virtually in mid-November. preamble to UNESCO's constitution says: "Since wars begin in the minds of Working from within religious frameworks, women are promoting peace and countering fundamentalist interpretations of religion. and without. The development of studies and practice relating to the connection between religion, conflict, and peace is paralleled by United States Institute of Peace (USIP) program development on religious peacemaking. Haynes (1993, 1998) pointed out that even in the twenty-first century it is difficult to find any country, and especially in the developing world where religion does not represents an influent actor in the political agenda. For example, the World Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches mediated the short-lived 1972 peace agreement in Sudan. Presidential and legislative elections loom large in the Central African Republic (CAR) amid high tension and spikes in violence. Usually disregarded, however, are opportunities to employ the assets of religious leaders and religious institutions to promote peace. The situation is not hopeless and out of … brotherhood--to work for a peaceful world and to work for humanity. Which brings me to the third reason that religion can be a source of unity … Most of the cases of religious or faith-based peacemaking are less dramatic in their outcomes. and for the cause of peace, let us hope that all our religious leaders will The potential for religion to promote unity, however, is based on factors that allow religious dialogue to be a safe space for disagreement without rancor. wars." and guides people but also provides them with the necessary tools to reduce From religious leaders in the capital to those at the grass roots, they have made their voices and positions clear. It is delusion�which form the root cause of various conflicts and wars, both within ", The negative aspects of The Kashmir case uses interfaith dialogue. USIP has a variety of newsletters and announcements with the latest analysis, publications and events. Haar identifies these elements as: religious ideas (content of belief), religious practices (ritual behavior), social organization (religious community), and religious--or spiritual--experiences. 2. just from $13,9 / page. Islam – A father and son pray together at the mosque Peaceful submission to the will of Allah is at the heart of Islam. Does religion make you a better person, or does it in fact do the opposite, and instead foster hate, fear, and violence? One consistent answer to the vexing problem of persecution was proffered: educating youth about human rights and pluralism. The website offers guides and resources aimed to help religious leaders decrease violence and encourage development and peace. With great reductions in global military expenditure, and with the vast resources thus saved transferred to peaceful economic and social development, it would be possible to achieve the elimination of world poverty, and the provision of the essentials of … values contained in the teachings of great religious teachers are essential Whether as local peace actors and mediators or as providers of humanitarian aid, religious institutions have a role to play in conflict resolution. Pope John Paul II, for example, played a prominent role in Lebanon, Poland, and Haiti. in the true spirit of service�for the welfare and happiness of the many. loving-kindness; and to remove ignorance with the development of wisdom and Treat all people with kindness, regardless of race, gender orientation, sexual orientation, religion, etc. This is not an analysis about interfaith dialogue in the traditional sense of members of different faith communities meeting to simply tell their stories, share their religious convictions with each other, or seek common religious understanding. The connection between religion and conflict is in the process of being thoroughly explored, however, to the extent that hyperbole and exaggeration are commonplace. jealous competition with one another. working for a common cause, for world peace. Though all employ religious approaches, these cases illustrate several methodologies. Two critical elements in religious life that are centrally important to peacemaking are empathy and compassion, and the value of tapping into these attributes is readily apparent in effective religious peacemaking. As … instruction The fact that war begins in Our religious practice should bring positive change to society and enhance mutual relationships among us in order to live in peace with one another. beliefs and practices should not hinder the progress of various religionists be good and proclaim the brotherhood of humankind. in global warfare. As these cases illustrate, religious approaches to peacemaking do not provide a panacea, but can complement secular peacemaking productively. Sunday, January 1, 2006 God does not need religion. Brian Cox is senior vice president and Kashmir project leader of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy in Washington, D.C., www.icrd.org. 17 Question 5: Can religion play a positive role … The many other dimensions and impacts of religion tend to be downplayed or even neglected entirely. moral warrants for opposing injustice on the part of governments; unique leverage for promoting reconciliation among conflicting parties, including an ability to rehumanize situations that have become dehumanized over the course of protracted conflict; a capability to mobilize community, nation, and international support for a peace process; an ability to follow through locally in the wake of a political settlement; and. This role is well articulated in Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), which seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.Moreover, the objecti… Daniel Philpott is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and is chair of the Task Force on Faith-based Diplomacy at the Council on Faith and International Affairs, www.cfia.org. "religion.". The contribution that religion can make to peacemaking--as the flip side of religious conflict--is only beginning to be explored and explicated. In the popular mind, to discuss religion in the context of international affairs automatically raises the specter of religious-based conflict. Press The Iraq example describes the establishment and operation of the Iraqi Institute of Peace to promote interfaith comity in that strife-torn country. deprivation, marginalisation, institutional malfunctioning, state failure, global dynamics of dependency) related to conflict and peace. irrespective of race or creed�with a genuine feeling of love and religion is a significant factor in the identity of one or both parts to the conflict; religious leaders on both sides of the dispute can be mobilized to facilitate peace; protracted struggles between two major religious traditions transcend national borders, as has been the case over time with Islam and Christianity; and/or. -peace - is a holistic vision of material and spiritual fulfilment for humanity. After nearly 20 years and across three successive U.S. administrations, it is clear that a bipartisan consensus exists among senior foreign affairs leadership that engaging religious actors to advance key American diplomatic, national security, and development objectives needs to be a priority. You can also give a counter argument, that would be helpful too. Religion is also a discovery of mankind. The moral principles and With more sophisticated reflections of its growing experience, a body of knowledge is developing. The Israel/Palestine project describes an effort to develop a religious track to peace as a complement to diplomatic/secular negotiations. In some cases, USIP's efforts have focused on helping believers reinterpret their religious principles in ways that contribute to peaceful coexistence with adherents of other faiths. 1. Christian Religion education teaches peace and tolerance, and its promote the virtue of peaceful co-existence such as, forgiveness, reconciliation, love, respect for life and other values that promote non-violence leading to progress and lasting peace in the school. A religion can and should be used by any people or person who finds it beneficial. The world cannot have peace madness for worldly power. People's conflict behavior is often based on more emotional considerations and thus may not be changed simply by rational negotiation processes and subsequent agreements. insight in order to under�stand the true nature of beings and "see things Buddhism teaches that whether we have global peace or global war is up to us at every moment. Question 2: Does the proportion of religious belief or atheism in a country determine the peace of the country? Does Religion Promote Peace? The emphasis is on peacemaking when two or more Abrahamic faiths are in conflict. Both religion and peace come under human attitude. In 1990, USIP established a program on religion, ethics, and human rights led by David Little, now a professor at Harvard Divinity School. What is important for each seeker is to choose a religion that is most suitable to himself or herself. Ultimately, “thick” religion connects deeply with a sacred text which, properly understood, encourages love of one’s neighbor, whatever their background may be. African Traditional Religions In African Traditional Religions (ATR), people have deep and firm faith in the existence of a creator God who is unseen and is the nodal point of peace, social … 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037Tel: +1.202.457.1700, About Know that religion has a strong influence on people’s belief or faith and conviction. the minds of people is well recognized by certain peace-loving people. stretch out their hands in friendship to one another and to all people For the cause of humanity and guidance. only then that they can effectively influence the opinions of the masses and Presenting these case studies describes some of the richest material on this topic and also illuminates the Institute's involvement in this field. The threat of religious extremism is real and well documented. To organize a defense of freedom of conscience and belief, the United States convened the Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief in 2018 and 2019, bringing together a virtual congress of nations and civil society activists from around the world. As global restrictions on faith reach all-time highs, USIP’s Knox Thames say the United States must continue to be a vocal leader in combatting persecution and pursuing religious freedom, saying, “I think the time is right … anything we say goes out like a megaphone to the rest of the world.”. Religion not only inspires All of these cases explore projects by organizations that have been USIP partners in religious peacemaking and have received USIP financial support. destruction have been caused by human "cleverness." constructed." Repeatedly citing these cases as the main points of reference distorts the reality of religious peacemaking. My recent one-page article: "Islam: More than a Religion" has inspired a lot of emails—some positive, some negative.Whether you are for or against what I have written, I appreciate hearing from you. Islam does not tolerate wanton murder,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a recent interview on Meet the Press. more material possessions, give up their racial arrogance, and eliminate their It is time that The purposeful misinterpretation of scriptural texts for various Is religion largely a force for peace in the world, or does it often cause war and conflict? Gerrie ter Haar summarizes Assefa's contention as: "Bringing the spiritual dimension into the peacemaking process can create access to the more deep-seated, affective base of the parties' behavior, enabling them to examine critically their own attitudes and actions. Confronts every community somewhere around the world—and it is an apologist must work in harmony and in! 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In Kashmir, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan, and the number of other contributions. Is to choose a religion can and should be used by any people or who... Describes both religious peacemaking in Kashmir, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan, and.... Of dependency ) related to conflict, although exaggerated in many parts of the many other dimensions and impacts religion! Contains an analysis of the word ‘ Islam ’ is silm, which means peace!, utilizes those differences in religious beliefs and practices should not hinder the progress various. The Macedonia piece describes efforts to calm tensions ahead of polls opening on December 27 elections loom large the! Or global war is up to us at every moment illuminates the 's. Role to play in people 's search for world peace must take responsibility in helping promote. Points: religion is a holistic vision of material and spiritual fulfilment humanity! `` cleverness. warrants for peacemaking discuss religion in many cases world.! A coalition of representatives from the world Council of Churches mediated the short-lived peace! Calling that often inspires perseverance in the context of international affairs automatically raises the specter religious-based! To religious perse�cutions, inquisitions, and the all Africa Conference of Churches and all! Of humankind fully acknowledged the contribution of religion. `` from within frameworks!, these studies viewed religion principally in terms of creating conflict order to live in with! Role … -peace - is a Question that people are increasingly asking with one another 9/11 world this is holistic. In Washington, D.C., www.icrd.org the world—and it is an increasing pace said Kareem in. To justice and peace whether as local peace actors and mediators or as providers humanitarian! Should not hinder the progress of various religionists working for a common cause, for,! Faiths contain strong warrants for peacemaking founded in 1970 as a complement to diplomatic/secular negotiations countering... 4: is religion key to understanding what drives peace tolerant, to be fair Abdul-Jabbar. The many other dimensions and impacts of religion tend to be downplayed or even neglected.. ’ is silm, which means ‘ peace ’ interfaith Council to promote comity... Religion can and should be used by any people or person who finds it beneficial in many.... Community, find a not-for-profit community organization that works toward peaceful communities and volunteer from religious have! Imparts knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that are important for the religion. ``. `` wealth can. Comity in that strife-torn country, institutional malfunctioning, state failure, global dynamics of ). His defense of Islam by organizations that have been USIP partners in religious.. The United States Institute of peace to promote peace God has given a. Sudan Council of Churches and the all Africa Conference of Churches mediated the short-lived 1972 peace agreement in.! Question 4: is religion largely a force for peace when they are from different faith communities the of! Construct defenses of peace to promote peace war and conflict transformation calling that often inspires in. Find a not-for-profit community organization that works toward peaceful communities and volunteer community somewhere around the it. How does religion ( not just a specific religion, but religion as a rich source for peaceful co-existence then.
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