Religion and Peacebuilding

Religion is an important component in many conflict zones and a powerful tool for preventing violence. USIP has been a pioneer in religion and peacemaking, seeking new ways to combat violent extremism across all beliefs.

Learn more about USIP's Religion and Peacemaking center.

Inside Iran

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 09:30
Thu, 01/09/2014 - 11:00
With Robin Wright and David Ignatius

Two long-time Middle East experts have recently returned from Iran. Their discussions with cabinet members, ayatollahs, hardliners, Members of Parliament, economists, opposition figures and ordinary Iranians offer rare insights into Iran’s increasingly vibrant political scene since President Rouhani took office and the implications of the new nuclear agreement. Robin Wright and David Ignatius offer fresh perspectives on what’s next.

Please join us for a moderated discussion on these and other issues important to Iran, its internal politics, and its relations with the world. Join the conversation on Twitter with #InsideIran.

This event will feature the following speakers:

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Current Challenges to Christian-Muslim Relations in Egypt

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 10:00
Fri, 06/14/2013 - 12:00

On Friday, June 14, two Egyptian religious leaders, Grand Mufti Mohamed Ali Goma’a and Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis, discussed the challenges their communities face in the democratic transition of their state.


After decades of authoritarian rule, Egypt’s transition to democracy is tackled incredible challenges including political, social and economic reform, infrastructural development, and the ongoing religious sectarianism.

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Egyptian President Resigns after Peaceful Protests

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned on Feb. 11 after weeks of peaceful protests. USIP takes a comprehensive look at the situation and its implications.


UPDATED: February 15, 2011

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned on Feb. 11 after weeks of peaceful protests. USIP takes a comprehensive look at the situation and its implications.

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 14:35
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Notes from Sudan

Ahead of the country's critical 2011 referendum on whether the South should secede from Sudan, USIP is dedicated to help resolve internal conflicts and help ensure the country's future stability and security. In "Notes from Sudan," USIP's Jon Temin writes about his recent tour of the country to get an update on the status of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended decades of civil war in Sudan and learn about preparations for the 2011 referendum and the 2010 national elections. 


Jonathan Temin

by Jonathan Temin

Fri, 08/21/2009 (All day)
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Peacebuilding in Central African Republic: The Views of Top Religious Leaders

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 14:00
Mon, 11/10/2014 - 15:30

Please join us for a discussion with the highest-ranking Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant leaders in CAR, Imam Omar Kabine Layama, Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga and Reverend Nicolas Guérékoyame Gbangou, as they discuss their efforts to foster dialogue and social cohesion across religious dividing lines, and lay out a strategic vision for the future of the country through their Interfaith Peace Platform.

In the Central African Republic, the situation remains precarious as ethno-religious violence continues despite the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers. In this context, religious leaders committed to peacebuilding provide a particularly important perspective.

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Religious Authority and the Promotion of Sectarian Tolerance in Pakistan

Sunni-Shia tensions have been a recurrent problem in Pakistan for more than three decades, as domestic and international factors have polarized sectarian identities. Recently, the Shia minority has suffered the brunt of the violence. This report examines what has fostered intolerance and tolerance between Sunnis and Shias in Pakistan and the role that religious authorities may play in reducing sectarian prejudice.

Michael Kalin and Niloufer Siddiqui


  • Sunni-Shia tensions have been a recurrent problem in Pakistan for more than three decades, with the Shia minority suffering the brunt of the recent violence.
  • Sectarian identity has become politicized as a result of domestic and international factors. Historical case studies and interviews suggest that sectarian networks are usually local but are often bolstered by transnational religious communities and can be highly responsive to international events.
Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:38
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Post-War Reconciliation: Screening of Bosnian Film "Pretty Village"

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 14:00
Tue, 10/28/2014 - 16:30

The documentary "Pretty Village" is more than a film about one Bosnian village. Its stories can be universally recognized in any society torn apart by conflict. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring protagonist and producer Kemal Pervanic.

The film documents the destruction of innocence in Pervanic’s village of Kevljani in northern Bosnia during the 1992-95 war. It questions whether it’s possible to achieve true peace and reconciliation in the aftermath of devastation and torture that pitted neighbor against neighbor and created cauldrons of abuse like the notorious Omarska concentration camp. Images of skeletal men filmed in August 1992 produced some of the war’s most indelible images.

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Islamist Party Leader Appeals for Aid to Bolster Tunisian Example of Moderation, Democracy

Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the founder of Tunisia’s Islamist party, appealed this week for U.S. political and economic support as his country struggles to complete its historic transition. Tunisia, the lone success story out of the Arab uprisings, could serve as an example for Iraq, Syria, Egypt and others, he said.

USIP Staff

Ghannouchi, founder and president of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, said his country’s success is also vital in proving that moderate Islam can co-exist with democracy -- and countering claims about links between Islam and terrorism. Democracy, he said, can actually be another way to fight terrorism.

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 12:42
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Is There a Role for Religious Actors in Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism?

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:30
Fri, 09/26/2014 - 12:00
Voices from the Trenches

On September 26th, 2014, USIP hosted three panelists from the “Religious Actors Combatting Radicalization and Violent Extremism Symposium,” who presented key insights drawn from the workshop and their own experiences.

Recent events in Iraq and Syria underscore the devastating impact of violent extremism. In fact, it is one of the most pressing issues facing the world today, affecting many regions and threatening to destabilize the global community.

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Global Religious Engagement: Best Practices for International Affairs Professionals

It touches on often-contested issues such as gender and women’s voices, religious freedom, discussing personal beliefs in the public sphere, and how to integrate religion and programming. Participants will finish the course with a command of best practices for working on sensitive issues with communities of faith.