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Research Report

Faith-Based Peace-Building:: Mapping and Analysis of Christian, Muslim and Multi-Faith Actors

Tsjeard Bouta
S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana
Mohammed Abu-Nimer
Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 2005
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 153

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. i-ii)
  2. (pp. iii-iv)
  3. (pp. v-vii)
  4. (pp. ix-xi)
  5. (pp. 1-10)

    International policy attention for religion is growing. While religion has never been really absent from public and political affairs in large parts of the world, its political leverage in the West has long been marginalized. Probably since the Enlightenment, most Western countries have tried to advocate some sort of separation between Church and State, between religion and politics. Various countries have regarded religion as a private matter to be enjoyed by individual citizens in their private life, and some (such as Communist countries) have even tried to suppress religious manifestations in all spheres of life. Despite all this, religion has...

  6. (pp. 11-14)

    Religion ‘as a powerful constituent of cultural norms and values’ is deeply implicated in individual and social conceptions of peace, because it addresses some of the most profound existential issues of human life, such as freedom/inevitability, fear/security, right/wrong and sacred/profane.18 Gopin remarks that it is probably true for all religions that religion has developed laws and ideas that provide civilization with cultural commitments to critical peace-related values, including empathy, an openness to and even love for strangers, the suppression of unbridled ego and acquisitiveness, human rights, unilateral gestures of forgiveness and humility, interpersonal repentance and the Religion ‘as a powerful...

  7. (pp. 15-23)

    This chapter provides a description of thirteen Christian and multi-faith peace-building actors and of fourteen Muslim peace-building actors. Each description attempts to highlight the following characteristics per organization:

    Type of organization: The phrasing used to describe the type of organization has been discussed with and agreed upon by the organizations themselves;

    Staff and annual budget: The figures apply to the organization as a whole. Only where available are more specific figures on the number of staff and size of budget per specific faith-based programme within the organization mentioned;

    Focus on conflict with/without a religious overtone: This characteristic refers to the...

  8. (pp. 25-41)

    This chapter provides an analysis of thirteen Christian and multi-faith peace-building actors, and of fourteen Muslim peace-building actors. The analysis per actor comprises:

    One or two examples of their peace-building work;

    Outcomes and results of this peace-building work;

    Assessment of the impact of their peace-building activities—that is, a self-assessment of their contribution to peace;

    General lessons learned with regard to faith-based peace-building (where available).

    The results, outcomes and impact of each actor’s peace-building work are based on self-descriptions, obtained by the authors through telephone and emails, and thus not through field visits or interviews with stakeholders involved in these...

  9. (pp. 43-46)

    This report highlights the potentially constructive role of faith-based actors in the domain of peacebuilding. It includes a preliminary list with institutionalized faith-based peace-building actors, mainly including internationally operating Christian and multi-faith actors, and nationally operating Muslim actors working in/on the Balkans and Africa. 13 Christian and multi-faith and 14 Muslim peacebuilding actors have been scrutinized in more detail, analysing a number of their peace-building activities, results, outcomes and larger contribution to peace-building. Based on this analysis, the authors draw the following tentative conclusions.

    Faith-based peace-builders have a number of strengths and weaknesses. These are not, however, necessarily unique to...

  10. (pp. 47-50)

    This report on faith-based peace-building actors was conducted at the request of MoFA. The recommendations here below, however, aim not only at MOFA’s policy-makers, but at other countries’ ministries of foreign affairs and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in the Netherlands and abroad.

    The main recommendation is that policy-makers should take into account the potential of faith-based peace-building actors to contribute positively to peace-building. As this report shows, there is every reason to believe that faith-based peace-builders have a role to play in promoting peace, security and stability through conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction.

    The authors have the impression...

  11. (pp. 51-54)

    This has been a preliminary study on the topic of faith-based peace-building. Because of the length, scope and set-up (desk study instead of field analysis), the study has only been able to address certain parts of the discussion on faith-based peace-building. The authors therefore make the following suggestions for follow-up research:

    The time devoted to mapping Muslim peace-building actors in Africa and the Balkans has not been sufficient. Many of the Muslim actors were not able to respond to the authors on time, and some of them asked for more time to respond. The authors consequently suggest conducting a more...

  12. (pp. 147-152)