Given religion’s influence on conflict dynamics around the world, it is critical that practitioners and policymakers understand and partner with religious leaders and people of faith to build peace. For more than 25 years, the U.S. Institute of Peace has worked on the role of religion in violence and peace, advancing cutting-edge research and policy, and developing effective strategies to engage religious actors, institutions and ideas across traditions in support of peace. From enhancing the peacemaking capacities of individuals and faith-based organizations to fostering meaningful dialogue within and across faiths, USIP works with local partners to promote inclusive religious peacebuilding. 

Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on Religious Engagement in Peacebuilding.

 

Featured   Publications

In Religious Conflicts, Bolstering the Role of Military Chaplains

In Religious Conflicts, Bolstering the Role of Military Chaplains

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

By: Melissa Nozell;  Knox Thames

In the 2020s, how urgently should the U.S. military prepare to address religious facets of armed conflicts? Violence from Beirut to the Red Sea this month threatens to spread the Israel-Hamas war regionwide. Violence fueled through religious identities and extremisms also afflicts Asia and Africa. Russia manipulates religion to justify its invasion of Ukraine. However, simultaneously, religious ideas can help resolve conflicts. The United States should seize a current opportunity to improve its ability to navigate the religious terrain of conflicts with enhanced training and roles for an often under-appreciated resource: military chaplains.

Type: Analysis

Religion

What Comes Next for the International Religious Freedom Movement?

What Comes Next for the International Religious Freedom Movement?

Friday, December 8, 2023

By: Knox Thames

The historic city of Prague recently hosted diplomats, civil society activists and religious leaders from 60 countries around the shared goal of global religious freedom. Convened by the Czech government, it was the fifth gathering since the United States launched the ministerial process in 2018. As persecution continues worldwide, victimizing individuals from all faiths and none, the timing was right to gather those committed to promoting freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief for all.

Type: Analysis

Human RightsReligion

Religious Actors in Formal Peace Processes

Religious Actors in Formal Peace Processes

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

By: Alexander Bramble;  S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana;  Thania Paffenholz

Despite the significant impact—both real and potential—that religious actors and communities can have on formal peace processes, there is little research on or analysis of their engagement as part of these processes. This report aims to remedy this deficit by examining whether, when, how, and to what extent religious actors have been engaged in formal peace and political transition processes.

Type: Peaceworks

ReligionPeace Processes

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Current  Projects

Religion and Conflict Country Profiles

Religion and Conflict Country Profiles

USIP’s Religion, Peace and Conflict Country Profiles (RPACCs) are concise analytic overviews of the religious landscape in countries at risk of, currently experiencing or recovering from violent conflict. RPACCs are intended to be used primarily by policymakers and practitioners looking to develop rapid familiarity with the nature and status of religion in a given country of interest as well as to understand how religion intersects with conflict and peace dynamics. The RPACC series is an outgrowth of USIP’s previous work on Religious Landscape Mapping in Conflict-Affected States.

Religion

The USIP Learning Agenda

The USIP Learning Agenda

In support of the Evidence Act and as part of the U.S. national security architecture, USIP is carrying out its own learning agenda. Peacebuilding has long been viewed as too messy and complex for evidence-based approaches — but USIP’s mix of research and practice belies that assumption.

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGenderJustice, Security & Rule of LawMediation, Negotiation & DialogueNonviolent ActionPeace ProcessesReconciliationReligionViolent ExtremismYouth

Religious Literacy and Peacebuilding

Religious Literacy and Peacebuilding

Peacebuilders and policymakers are engaged and involved with religious actors in almost every aspect of their work. Even where religion is not an explicit presence, it is a cultural undercurrent that is immutably present — and one that is often vastly underestimated by policymakers. As USIP’s three decades of experience working at the intersection of religion, peace and conflict has shown, the teachings of various religious traditions, the lived experience of those who practice them and the knowledge of how to engage with people of faith are all essential elements of effective peacebuilding.

Religion

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