Blog, The United States Institute of Peace Legal and Privacy Information | FOIA Inquiries, Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Jacob Stokes on China’s Influence in South Asia, China’s Influence on Conflict Dynamics in South Asia, Spurred by China Rivalry, U.S., India Deepen Strategic Ties, Scott Smith on U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan, US State Department releases Global Fragility Strategy - Devex, Sudan's private sector to reap dividends of country's removal from US sanctions list - The National, 'Europe's last dictator' clings to power despite protesters' demands - Washington Times, Is an alleged drug kingpin from China investing millions in a port in Laos? It has many channels of communicating this message: through traditional values and worldviews, rituals, social relations, and the increasing use of modern communication. Rev. There are past cases of mediation and peacemaking by religious leaders and institutions. From 1987 to 1988, he was personal adviser to the Norwegian State Minister of Foreign Affairs, and from 1984 to 1993 General Secretary of the Church of Norway Council on Foreign Relations. Religious leaders are employing traditional ceremonies to try to bring closure. World," in Religion, Law and the Use of Force, J,I, Coffey & Charles Mathewes, eds (Transnational 2002): 23-37. Along the way, their first stop is South Asia, which this report defines as comprising eight countries—Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka—along with the Indian Ocean (particularly the eastern portions but with implications for its entirety). 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 justice, and harmony. There are two primary tasks facing religious practitioners who are concerned with world peace. 50 Ways To Promote Peace. So no religion gets more attention than others. According to studies conducted by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, in 1975 only 2 percent of conflicts included a religious dimension, yet in 2013 the number had grown to more than 50 percent. He currently serves as Dean of Vestre Aker, a grouping of eleven Oslo city parishes. Many are also engaged in longer-range development projects. From 1997 to 2006, he was a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. African traditional religions have been washed away, and especially with Christianity, they are viewed as pagan and heathen in nature. FI-00131 Helsinki It is necessary to examine whether there are other peacebuilding strategies that can be adopted to complement existing efforts to promote peace on the continent. Religious affiliation and conviction often motivates religious communities to advocate particular peace-related government policies. Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican cleric who in 1984 received the Nobel Prize for Peace for his role in the opposition to the discriminatory policies of apartheid in place in South Africa during the last half of the 20th century. The term religion has been defined as the relation of man to his own being, but as a being outside himself (National Open University of Nigeria module of 2008) entitled “Introduction to African Traditional Religion”. This paper examines African indigenou… Friday, February 1, 2008 The horrendous events of 9/11, the conflagration in Iraq, and the aggressive assertiveness of quasi-theocratic Iran only confirm in the popular mind that religion lies behind much of contemporary international conflic. Make a personal commitment to nonviolence. No major religion has been exempt from complicity in violent conflict. The desire is to relieve suffering, whether due to natural disaster or man-made calamity. By: Recognising the role of religion and engaging with its multiple facets do not replace the work required to address the other interlocking issues (e.g. deprivation, marginalisation, institutional malfunctioning, state failure, global dynamics of dependency) related to conflict and peace. He has also written a book about his church and his own involvement in the struggle against the apartheid system in South Africa. Reconciliation is complex in northern Uganda, where children were both victims and perpetrators of a decades-long civil war. Write to your government (local and federal) 4. Dr. Paffenholz has roots in Europe, Africa and Asia. While everyone is entitled to their religion, it is the same religion which has shaped Africa's history especially with the advent of imperialism and colonialism upon which it was built. USIP’s Vikram Singh looks at India’s evolving defense posture, deepening U.S.-Indian ties, and how it relates to India’s rocky relationships with China and Pakistan. Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers World Religions for World Peace. In many parts of the world people from different religions live in peace and coexist without any conflict. However, African religion which has been relegated to the background by these religious traditions has the basic pragmatic peace as one of its essential frameworks for development. Religion of Peace Atrocity of the Week. In 2001 on September 11, when two airplanes hit the WTC in New York, Dr. Elsanousi had a leading position at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a position that was soon redefined by the changes in society after 9/11. Born in Sudan, hard work brought Dr. Elsanousi to Pakistan to pursue a degree in Sharia and Law. Build relationships of trust with other religions. Dr. Thania Paffenholz is the Director of the Inclusive Peace & Transition Initiative (IPTI) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. We have seen that potentially African Religion is clearly committed to peace, and in various ways it undertakes ways that teach, encourage, and promote it. In 2010 Dr. Elsanousi co-chaired the founding of the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, an interfaith organization dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment by strengthening the voice of freedom and peace. In recent decades, religion has assumed unusual prominence in international affairs. Muslims should keep and promote peace and justice with all, including enemy, keep the greeting peace be unto you, and exercise tolerance. A lawyer by profession, Peter has 20 years experience in the international policy arena, including more than 12 years as Assistant General Secretary for International Affairs & Human Rights at the Lutheran World Federation and four years as Executive Director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance. In the article, Philip Jenkins, a noted scholar from Pennsylvania State University, predicts that when historians look back at this century they will see religion as "the prime animating and destructive force in human affairs, guiding attitudes to political liberty and obligation, concepts of nationhood and, of course, conflicts and wars." In the religions of Africa, life does not end with death, but continues in another realm. South Africa is a non-secular state. Create a peaceful affirmation/mantra. Since its creation in 2000, the United States Institute of Peace’s Religion and Peacemaking program has worked with local partners to promote religious peacemaking in many parts of the world, including Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Search for experts, projects, publications, courses, and more. Traditional African religion is very popular and arrived here with our North and West African ancestors. In recognition of her work, Dr. Paffenholz received the prestigious Wihuri International Prize in 2015. Peter has served in numerous leadership roles in UN and civil society contexts and as a founding member of the International NGO Committee on Human Rights in Trade and Investment and the International Dalit Solidarity Network. Have a sense of forbearance and unity towards other religions, knowing that in spite of all our differences, God created us all human beings in God’s image in order to complement one another. At times, however, these projects have the unintended consequence of creating or exacerbating conflict. Since 1996, Bakkevig has helped facilitate dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jewish religious leaders in Palestine/Israel, as well as with politicians and international church bodies on the situation there; this task has involved extensive contacts with political and religious leaders in other parts of the Middle East countries. However, the survey does raise questions of how religion may contribute to conflict and what could be done within religions to better promote peace. Religion is not usually the sole or even primary cause of conflict. USIP’s Jacob Stokes says to properly counterbalance Beijing in the region, the United States should focus “less about responding to China … and more engaging with the states of South Asia.”, By: And as the children who had been "conscripted" into Kony's criminal army emerged from the bush and tried to come home, the scarred communities they left struggled to absorb them. Religious communities also directly oppose repression and promote peace and reconciliation. Building lasting peace in war-torn societies is a daunting challenge for global peace and security. The agreement, known as the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), was a result of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between U.S. and Indian defense and foreign affairs chiefs, following a trend in recent years of deepening military cooperation geared toward pushing back on China’s increasingly assertive policies in the region. Vast amounts of resources have been utilised to craft peace agreements which have often collapsed under the weight of competing interests. Dr. Thania Paffenholz, Director of the Inclusive Peace & Transition Initiative As the need to share best practices and develop common understanding on the possible role religious actors have in preventing violence remains vital, the Peacemakers Network is pleased to invite you to a panel discussion addressing questions such as: The audience is warmly invited to join the discussion. Religion is also often being blamed as a tool to mobilise people during conflicts. Israel: Mother of 6 Murdered. After graduation, Dr. Elsanousi continued studies in the United States. A recent article in The Economist asserts that, if there ever was a global drift toward secularism, it has been halted and probably reversed. The request for a contribution to justice and peace for all from religions actually corresponds to the idea of accountability to God or to holy texts. That problem, combined with a growing recognition that peacebuildingwill aid in the sustainability of humanitarian assistance and deve… The African continent continues to be faced with the challenge of establishing peace and development. USIP China-South Asia Senior Study Group. Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, Director of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, Washington D.C. Office In South Africa, various churches were at the vanguard of the struggle against apartheid and the peaceful transition. I would love to hear your thoughts regarding what else we can do to try to prevent violence and cultivate peace in our fragile world. Visit First, we must promote better interfaith understanding so as to create a workable degree of unity among all religions. China has embarked on a grand journey west. Peter Prove, Director, International Affair, The World Council of Churches Venue:  Main Hall, Ecumenical Center, 1 Route des Morillons, Geneva, Switzerland. This report represents reflections on that experience. Here are twenty ideas – some of which originated in my own brain, while others were culled from organizations (and credit is given where it is due). The event is part of the Geneva Peace Week 2017. If the U.S. government is to insert itself into international conflicts or build deeper and more productive relationships with countries around the world, it needs to devise a better strategy to effectively and respectfully engage with the religious realm. He also has extensive experience of interfaith networking for peace and development, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Treat all people with kindness, regardless of race, gender orientation, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Nigerians are thus more likely to identify themselves first and foremost as Christians or Muslims rather than as Nigerians. Grants & Fellowships 1 Views contained in this paper do not reflect the position of the African Diaspora Policy Centre. The test of this accountability must be whether we are serving justice and peace for all, since all are created and in equal need of justice and peace for their well-being, safety, and happiness. Salvation in African religion ‘is not related to Christ, but to rituals which seek to promote fertility, fecundity, healing and other modes of being emblematic of cosmological harmony’.35 Oosthuizen is of opinion that African religion consists of five core components: (1) belief in a Supreme Being; (2) belief in lesser gods; (3) belief in spirits; (4) ancestral belief; and (5) the practice of magic and medicine, each … Stand together to challenge any form of injustice, and emphasize that PEACE cannot stand without JUSTICE. This comes after a spate of skirmishes this year on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a Sino-Indian disputed border region. Box 210 Rev. Trond Bakkevig is a pastor of the Lutheran Church of Norway. The moral principles and values contained in the teachings of great religious teachers are essential factors for the reduction and ultimate eradication of greed, hatred, and delusion—which form the root cause of various conflicts and wars, both within and without. 1. Before I discuss the existence of spirits in IR, one should understand what is meant by indigenous and religion. Connect - CNN. But the sad truth is that the so-called “religion of peace” is responsible for more deaths and violence than any other religion in the world. Sr. … The concepts of "life" and "death" are not mutually exclusive concepts, and there are no clear dividing lines between them. Not infrequently, the most contentious interfaith relationships can provide the context for the most meaningful and productive exchanges. With over 25 years of experience as both an academic and policy advisor, Dr. Paffenholz is internationally renowned for her work on and in support of peace and political transition processes worldwide, focusing on mediation and peacebuilding, process design, inclusion and participation, as well as the conditions under which these processes produce sustainable outcomes. 3. USIP has a variety of newsletters and announcements with the latest analysis, publications and events. For example, the World Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches mediated the short-lived 1972 peace agreement in Sudan. 2. Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian. Publications Given religion’s importance as both a source of international conflict and a resource for peacemaking, it is regrettable that the U.S. government is so ill equipped to handle religious issues and relate to religious actors. Refreshments will be served. He has published several books, as well as numerous scientific and popular articles. Time: 12:30-14:00 Date: Wednesday November 8, 2017 Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi is the Director of the Washington DC Office of Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. Especially in Africa, religion has been at the heart of much of the contemporary conflicts. Projects P.O. He is also the vice president of the Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Home to about 2 billion people, South Asia has become a strategic focal point for China’s growing global influence. 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. THERE is a problem with the way the oppression of women and girls is explained which, if not challenged, will mean that gender will become a racket, an industry, without even reducing, let alone stopping, the degradation of the majority of women. Other Recent "Misunderstandings of Islam" 2020.12.24 (Yemen) Shiite militia beat a woman to death in front of her children. The horrendous events of September 11, the conflagration in Iraq, and the aggressive assertiveness of quasi-theocratic Iran only confirm in the popular mind that religion lies behind much of contemporary international conflict. Officials in Beijing are driven by aspirations of leadership across their home continent of Asia, feelings of being hemmed in on their eastern flank by U.S. alliances, and their perception that opportunities await across Eurasia and the Indian Ocean. It also helps that the ruling party is made has members of most religions practiced in the country. Dr. Elsanousi joined the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers 2014, and today Dr. Elsanousi works on themes including mediation and peacebuilding in Central African Republic, promoting religious freedom in Muslim majority countries and preventing violent radicalization, especially in the Middle East and North America. Press "The Development of the Just War Tradition," (1-13) and "Survey of Roman Catholic Teachings on War and Peace" (15-38) in Catholic Perspectives on Peace and War, T. Massaro & T. Shannon, eds (Sheed & Ward, 2003) Supplemental Reading: Religion has a definite role to play in people's search for world peace. Religion is often depicted as a trigger factor in many conflicts. His doctoral dissertation was on the topic of theology and nuclear arms. David Smock, In recent decades, religion has assumed unusual prominence in global affairs. Dr&Canon Trond Bakkevig, Dean of Vestre Aker, Church of Norway,  Peace Research Institute Oslo 2. Peter Prove assumed the office of Director, International Affairs, at the World Council of Churches in February 2014, and has responsibility for the WCC’s programs in the field of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, arms control, and human rights. Attend a peace rally. Support Acts 17 videos on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3615911 Does the Quran promote peace? There are no exhaustive explanations to this change, yet the phenomenon can be approached by looking at the prevention work undertaken throughout the last 30 years. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. When engaging religious leaders and communities, it is necessary to understand the complexities of local religious traditions. Education imparts knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that are important for the social, economic and political development for any country. Rather than seeking to resolve a particular conflict, it aims to defuse interfaith tensions that may cause future conflict or derive from previous conflict. 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