When we watch the news we could easily get the impression that religion is a primary cause of violent conflict around the world. Is this true or just a convenient newspaper headline? The role of faith groups in civil society politics has becoming increasingly important in the last twenty years. A key aspect of this renewed visibility relates to faith-based conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
As part of my work as a Research Fellow in Faith and Peaceful Relations at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University I’ve spent the last few months writing a report entitled ‘Faith-based Interventions in Peace, Conflict and Violence’ with my colleague Laura Payne. The report which will be launched at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul next week explores the role that faith groups play in peacebuilding. We define conflict in broad terms as direct, structural and cultural violence: poverty, inequality & racism as well as civil wars, inter-ethnic violence and terrorism. There are no slick answers to the question: Is religion the cause of violence or a source for peace but you can read the report by clicking here…..‘Faith-based Interventions in Peace, Conflict and Violence’.