Following last week’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State, Rev. Susan Hayward discusses the worldwide uptick in religious discrimination in recent years—which particularly impacts minority communities—and how religion shapes conflict and peace around the world.
USIP has produced five studies of minorities’ perceptions on reconciliation in the Nineveh province, including, Christian, Eyzidi (Yazidi), Sabean-Mandaean, Shabak and Turkomen communities. These assessments provide insights into conflict drivers and demands of these communities and include key findings, which have been shared with international and national stakeholders including the U.S. Government and the Government of Iraq.
The gunfire and explosions of Afghanistan’s war are to fall silent this weekend for the first time since U.S. troops entered the country nearly 17 years ago. That is because the Taliban leadership has...
After five decades of autocratic military rule, Burma (also known as Myanmar) has initiated a critical transformation to representative democracy. But various regional and national tensions threaten the already tenuous transition; the Rohingya crisis, on-going clashes between ethnic armed organizations and the military in Kachin and Shan States, disagreements between the military and elected civilian government, intercommunal and religious cleavages, and precarious security structures threaten the nation’s stability.
With 84 percent of people worldwide identifying with a faith tradition, religion influences local, national, and international decision-making. Across the globe, violent extremism 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.
In a conference room at his offices in northern India, the Dalai Lama sat among young civil society leaders trying to build peace in their homelands scarred by violent conflicts. These days, a questio...
Youth Leaders: Vital to Countering Violence and Extremism The world’s most violent conflicts currently beset its most youthful populations. In the five countries that suffered nearly 80 percent of re...
The Catholic Church, with its 2.1 billion adherents worldwide, has been pivotal in some of the most significant nonviolent struggles in modern history. Many will recall the iconic image of Filipino religious sisters confronting military forces and a kleptocratic dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in prayerful resistance during the 1986 “people power” revolution. Today, Filipino religious leaders, facing another violent dictator, Rodrigo Duterte, once again are the leading face of nonviolent resistance. The Vatican is discussing these and other examples of powerful nonviolent movements as it rethinks its long-held doctrine of “just war.”
In Northern Nigeria, where clashes between Christians and Muslims have claimed thousands of lives and torn communities apart, two prominent clergymen believe religion can also be a way toward peace.
Congressman Hultgren, Congressman McGovern, and members of the Commission, thank you for convening this hearing today on Nigeria and for the opportunity to testify. The views I express here are my own and do not represent those of the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP).