Conflict resolution and Religion/Beliefs ENORB Seminar

Peace Building in an Age of Rage

Tuesday 12TH MARCH 2019, Holy Trinity Brussels Anglican Church (Rue Capitaine Crespel 29, 1050 BRUSSELS 
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The European Network on Religion and Belief will be convening a workshop on religion / belief and conflict resolution. Several peace processes have recently demonstrated the need to inclusively engage religious leaders and faith-based actors with a focus on inclusion of all — including minorities and local communities — in official negotiations to reach political settlement to conflicts.

The presence of religion in societies is a permanent reality that has far-reaching impact and influence. Whilst there exists some concerns about religion as a cause of conflicts, the reality is often much more complex with other underlining factors and the conflation of issues. Religions can play a complementary social and political role. Religious actors also shoulder responsibilities to help avert conflicts whether inter-religious, armed conflicts, hostilities and in post-war realities such as rebuilding society and fostering harmony and reconciliation between communities.

This is particularly the case for conflicts in which religious dynamics have co-shaped and driven the course of conflict and contributed towards its imperviousness to resolution. In such conflicts, religious actors and communities often feel that they have interests at stake in political negotiations related to the peace processes, and, if excluded, may subsequently disrupt and spoil official negotiations.

It is against this backdrop that ENORB is convening this timely workshop, engaging academics and practitioners alike to share and exchange diverse experiences in an inclusive discussion. [1] The workshop aims to inform future peace negotiations to encourage more thoughtful, effective engagement of religious leaders and faith based-actors.

The workshop will include facilitated conversations on the roles of religious actors in formal and informal peace processes, with an emphasis on the vital input of local communities and religious/ethnic minorities.


10:00                         Arrival, registration, coffee

10:30                          Introduction on Religion and Conflict Resolution — Salpy Eskidjan, WCC Religious Track.

11:00- 12.30              Panel 1: Peace-building and religion / belief: experiences and lessons learned

  • Olivia Caeymaex, Peace Programme Lead, Quaker Council for European Affairs — Quakers manual on peace-building and the gender approach
  • Michael Hansmann, Director-Brot für die Welt — Role of faith-based actors on humanitarian aids and advocacy in EU
  • Alice Kooij Martinez, Senior Advocacy Officer-Pax Christi International — Conflict resolution and peace-building – Pax Christi approach

12.30-13.30               Lunch break

13.30-14.30              Workshops/ Case Studies:

  • Northern Ireland Facilitator: Barbara Walshe, Chair-Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation
  • Balkans Facilitator: Dr Abdullah Faliq, Managing Director, The Cordoba Foundation; ENORB Board Member
  • Cyprus Facilitator: Salpy Eskidjan, WCC Religious Track

14.30-16:00              Panel: Peace in the Age of Rage

  • Speakers tbc

16:00-17:00              Conclusion / Networking & Coffee