One important partner in sharing models for collaboration is World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD), an organization working at the intersection of religion and global development. Housed within the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, WFDD documents the work of faith organizations and explores the importance of religious ideas and actors in the context of development. They support dialogues between religious and development communities and promote innovative partnerships at national and international levels, with the goal of contributing to positive, inclusive development outcomes. As part of a GHR grant, WFDD recently published a case study examining their work in Kenya, mapping interfaith actors engaged in peacebuilding and development efforts. The report will be a valuable resource, providing recommendations for those working on development and peace agendas, as well as for religious actors engaged in development and peace.
The case study reviews the religious landscape in Kenya and provides an overview of the various types of violence, pointing to the complex overlapping of ethnicity and religion. The difference between types of conflict and their causes are explored, with special attention to the roles of religious actors, and examples of peacebuilding through inter-religious cooperation are highlighted, notably the Ufungamano Initiative. Various inter-religious organizations in Kenya are introduced, as well as an analysis of the growing potential for collaboration. Christian–Muslim relations and historic tensions are also explored. This comprehensive case study aims to support the work of secular and faith actors interested in peacebuilding and inter-religious relations in Kenya and beyond. The report is also a resource for those engaged in countering violence extremism in the region. This case study will be followed by a GHR-supported survey of diaspora communities from conflict-affected countries living in the United States, regarding concerns in their country of origin and how interfaith experiences in the United States are shaping their lives.
Another GHR partner dedicated to sharing knowledge within the inter-religious action community is Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP), a large network of organizations working to resolve conflict and create sustainable peace. In July, AfP hosted a convening of inter-religious actors and stakeholders in Istanbul as part of Effective Inter-religious Action in Peacebuilding (EIAP), a three-year program funded by GHR. A report on the meeting was recently released, outlining the goals of EIAP, sharing knowledge presented at the meeting and identifying key challenges and opportunities. The document will help guide the groundbreaking collaboration as it addresses gaps in inter-religious peacebuilding efforts and builds a practical guide to evaluating inter-religious action.
Partnerships with organizations working to expand our understanding of the effectivity of inter-religious action, including World Faiths Development Dialogue and Alliance for Peacebuilding, help chart our way forward. To learn more about GHR’s work to advance peace and inter-religious collaboration, contact us.