USIP has developed a series of Action Guides focused on religion and conflict analysis, mediation, reconciliation and gender-inclusive religious peacebuilding in collaboration with the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers and the Salam Institute for Peace and Justice. These Action Guides provide a practical overview of the religious peacebuilding field and the role religion plays in driving both conflict and peace, examples of how religious actors and institutions have contributed to the prevention and resolution of conflict, and considerations for how best to engage the religious sector in peacebuilding.

Religion and Mediation Action Guide

This Action Guide will help you more effectively organize, facilitate, or support mediation where religion is relevant to the participants, the process, or the issues. It provides guidance on how faith-based mediators, texts, principles, values, symbols, or rituals can be useful when religious issues and identities are important to the parties to a conflict.

Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding

The guide examines a wide range of ways religion can contribute to peacebuilding, whether practiced by religious or secular actors, even when the conflict has no religious dimensions.

With 84 percent of people worldwide identifying with a faith tradition, religion influences local, national, and international peace and conflict. Across the globe, violent conflict often is couched in religious terms and religious discrimination is on the rise. At the same time, people of faith and religious organizations frequently are on the frontlines of peace efforts, assisting communities affected by violence. Although religious considerations have been marginal to peace efforts historically, governments and peacebuilding organizations increasingly recognize the importance of religion.

USIP’s Religion & Peacebuilding Action Guides offer a toolkit of resources, lessons, best practices, and case studies around specific themes and topics, addressing diverse contexts intended to foster a practical framework for understanding and application. They offer recommendations to inform practitioners, policymakers, and scholars on how to integrate religious considerations into current or potential field programming carefully, thoughtfully, and effectively to prevent and resolve violent conflict. Current and forthcoming Action Guides include “Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding Analysis Guide,” “Religion and Mediation,” “Religion and Reconciliation,” and “Religion and Gender.”

The “Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding Analysis Guide” is available in full and in summary. This analysis guide will help policymakers and practitioners to understand the religious dimensions of conflict and take them into consideration in peacebuilding. The guide does not assume that religion will always be part of a solution, but rather it provides tools with which to assess if and how religion can play a role in wider peacebuilding efforts. 

Related Course

Discussion surrounding the film “Gender Equality in Islam”

Introduction to Religion and Peacebuilding

(Online Self-Paced Course)

Provides an overview of the religious peacebuilding field, the role religion plays in driving both conflict and peace, examples of how religious actors and institutions have contributed to the prevention and resolution of conflict and considerations for how best to engage the religious sector in peacebuilding.

Featured Publications

classroom

Religious Landscape Mapping in Conflict-Affected States

Diplomats and peace practitioners often cite lack of familiarity with the religious landscape as a barrier to their engagement of religious actors. In 2013, USIP launched an initiative to address this need by developing a methodology for systematically mapping and assessing the religious sector’s influence on conflict and peace dynamics in discrete conflict settings. These mappings, which have been done or are underway in Libya, South Sudan, Iraq and Burma, help illuminate recommendations for effective partnerships within the religious sector for peacebuilding.

Women, Religion and Peacebuilding book cover

Women, Religion and Peacebuilding

Illuminating the Unseen

Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Illuminating the Unseen examines the obstacles and opportunities that women religious peacebuilders face as they navigate both the complex conflicts they are seeking to resolve and the power dynamics in the insti­tutions they must deal with in order to accomplish their goals.

Latest Publications

What to Watch in 2023: India’s Pivotal Year on the Global Stage

What to Watch in 2023: India’s Pivotal Year on the Global Stage

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

By: Sameer P. Lalwani, Ph.D.;  Daniel Markey, Ph.D.;  Tamanna Salikuddin;  Vikram J. Singh

One month into 2023, and India is well underway with preparations for a pivotal year. In the coming 11 months, India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation (and by some estimates already has), and to continue on a trajectory of rapid economic growth. In assuming the presidencies of both the G-20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), India is set to host leaders from across the globe as the country prepares for its own general elections in 2024. With all eyes on India, New Delhi may be increasingly sensitive to global perceptions of how it handles possible shocks — external or internal — ranging from escalation on its borders to incidents of communal violence.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EconomicsGlobal Policy

Rage and Repression in Peru: Restoring Citizen Trust and Public Order

Rage and Repression in Peru: Restoring Citizen Trust and Public Order

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

By: Lawrence Gumbiner;  Camilo León;  Alberto Mejía;  Cynthia McClintock;  Mary Speck

Peruvian national governments have lurched from crisis to crisis in recent years. Corruption allegations repeatedly ignite political turmoil, pitting narrowly elected presidents against deeply divided legislatures. The last four presidents were all either impeached or forced to resign and the four before that completed their terms only to face criminal charges or investigations after leaving office.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceJustice, Security & Rule of Law

Enormous Earthquakes Exacerbate Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis

Enormous Earthquakes Exacerbate Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

By: Mona Yacoubian

A powerful earthquake, registering 7.8 on the Richter scale, struck Türkiye and Syria early Monday morning, with a 7.5 magnitude tremor and other aftershocks felt by countries around the region. Initial figures suggest that in Türkiye as many as 2,921 were killed and 13,293 injured, with 5,600 buildings collapsed. All told, the death toll in Türkiye and Syria stands at 4,300 but is likely to continue to rise. The epicenter of the quake was Türkiye’s southern city of Gaziantep, home to nearly half a million Syrian refugees forced from their homeland amid Syria’s devastating civil war. While the international community mobilized quickly to pledge assistance, aid delivery to Syria — already dealing with massive humanitarian challenges in both rebel- and regime-held areas — will be particularly complicated given the country’s ongoing conflict.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Robert Barron on the Violence in the West Bank

Robert Barron on the Violence in the West Bank

Monday, February 6, 2023

By: Robert Barron

After an especially violent month in the West Bank, a two-state solution seems as distant a prospect as ever — leaving many “worried that we could be witnessing a spiral” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as no one seems inclined “to take the steps that would be required to realize a two-state solution,” says USIP’s Robert Barron.

Type: Podcast

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