Religion and Peacemaking

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
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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.

Experts: 

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. 

 

by Jonathan Temin

Jonathan Temin
Fri, 08/21/2009 (All day)
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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
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Voices from the Trenches

On September 26th, 2014, USIP will host three panelists from the “Religious Actors Combatting Radicalization and Violent Extremism Symposium,” who will present 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.

Amid Israel-Hamas War: Is Peacebuilding a Dream or Reality?

While in Israel two weeks ago, as sirens sounded, rockets and missiles flew, and the sadly-certain descent began to where the two sides find themselves today, I heard a common refrain from a range of partner organizations and other civic activists working on peacebuilding in Israel:  The current fighting will end, hopefully tomorrow, maybe in a week or a month. But when it does, the underlying dynamics and problems remain to be addressed.  Our work can't stop.

Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen

The battle between Israel and Hamas forges ahead with little sign of let-up.  The death toll rises – more than 800 Gazans and at least 38 Israelis at the time of publication. And while international efforts to broker a ceasefire seem to be gaining momentum, they have yet to bear fruit.

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 13:43
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Engaging Afghan Religious Leaders for Women’s Rights

Women’s rights programs in Afghanistan need to work with religious leaders who have moral authority among large segments of the Afghan public. Engaging those traditional leaders who have a track record of supporting women’s rights begins with respecting their opinions and showing the patience to build trust through dialogue. It also requires supporting processes of change that are identified locally and ensuring that local partners take the lead role in the delivery of support as much as possible.

Summary

  • As the economic, security and political transitions take place in Afghanistan, it is essential to work with religious leaders who have credibility and moral authority among large segments of the Afghan public.
  • Religious leaders are among Afghanistan’s traditional “gatekeepers” for making local decisions, especially on questions of women’s rights, and they can be effectively engaged.
Palwasha L. Kakar
Wed, 06/18/2014 - 11:16
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Iraq Crisis: Will Politics Deliver More After Military Response This Time?

Our conversation quickly turned to the escalating security and political turmoil in Iraq. “The conflict in Syria is our major concern,” he told me. “The groups are moving freely between Syria and Iraq and are building up forces in some areas in Iraq where we expect more troubles. We think of this as an existential threat, and all our energy is focused now on curbing the expansion of these movements.”

Militant Sweep in Iraq: A Twitter Chat on the Latest Developments

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 10:00
Fri, 06/13/2014 - 10:30

On June 13, 2014, @USIP hosted a Twitter conversation regarding the worsening situation in Iraq.

Over the last few days, Sunni militants have swept through northern and western Iraq. Anti-government forces, mainly under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or also known as ISIS), a group that has fought Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military in Syria, have taken over the cities of Mosul and Tikrit. They are now nearing Baghdad. Meanwhile, Kurdish paramilitary fighters have gained control of Kirkuk. With the Iraqi army’s weapons reportedly seized and flowing back to Syria, is a conflagration about to erupt in the heart of Mesopotamia?

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Articles & Analysis

July 25, 2014
The battle between Israel and Hamas forges ahead with little sign of let-up.  The death toll rises – more than 800 Gazans and at least 38 Israelis at the time of publication. And while international efforts to broker a ceasefire seem to be gaining momentum, they have yet to bear fruit.

Our Work In The Field

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Classroom Courses

Instructor:
Maria Jessop
December 8, 2014
Washington
Understand the theory and practice of facilitated dialogue, learn the fundamentals of designing a dialogue process, and examine lessons learned from both community- and national-level dialogue processes with a focus on conflict contexts where divides rooted in identity differences figure prominently.

Online Courses

Peter Weinberger
This course presents a set of "soft skills" for participants who engage with religious peoples for partnerships, programming and project implementation.
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.

Publications

Women’s rights programs in Afghanistan need to work with religious leaders who have moral authority among large segments of the Afghan public. Engaging those traditional leaders who have a track record of supporting women’s rights begins with respecting their opinions and showing the patience to build trust through dialogue. It also requires supporting processes of change that are identified locally and ensuring that local partners take the lead role in the delivery of support as much as possible.
By:
Freedom Onuoha
Boko Haram’s recent kidnapping of over two hundred schoolgirls in Nigeria has once again brought the group into the international spotlight, making more urgent the questions about how to curtail its activities and the activities of other armed groups that threaten the security of Nigeria and the region. Drawing on the results of a 2013 study in six northern Nigerian states, this report addresses the question of how youth are radicalized and recruited into armed groups and what the Nigerian government and other interested actors can do to prevent it.