Faith-Inspired Organizations and Global Development: A Background Review "Mapping" Social and Economic Development Work in Latin America

January 30, 2009

On January 30 and 31, 2009, Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the United Nations Population Fund, and the World Faiths Development Dialogue hosted a consultation in Antigua, Guatemala on the role of faith-inspired organizations in responding to development challenges in Latin America. This background report was prepared to inform the practitioners, religious leaders from a range of faith traditions, and academics who gathered to review major issues facing the region. Religion has long been a dominant feature of the region’s political, social, and cultural life, and today faith institutions are directly engaged in the challenges of confronting poverty and inequity. In history and contemporary life, across virtually all sectors, churches have played central roles. The report gives special focus to issues facing children and youth, including education and gang violence, and how faith-inspired organizations are addressing these challenges. It aims to chart the landscape and frame areas for potential collaboration and dialogue, as well as identify topics which demand further exploration.

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