Can Religious Groups Help To Prevent Violent Conflict?

Laura Payne is a Research Fellow within the Faith and Peaceful Relations research group at CTPSR. Her work focuses largely on the role that faith-based organisations play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Here in an article for Open Democracy Laura asks whether faith groups can help to prevent violent conflict. A glance at the daily news confirms that religion is regularly complicit in violence. In early January of 2015, Boko Haram killed up to two thousand people in Baga, Northern Nigeria. As this massacre unfolded, two men stormed into the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris and murdered 12 people. Hijacking a car, they told the driver “If the media ask you anything, tell them it’s al-Qaeda in Yemen.” Both before and after these events the so-called Islamic State (IS) drip-fed films showing the beheadings of civilians and hostages in territory it controls.

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