Bosnia. Darfur. Afghanistan. Iraq. Headlines chronicle conflicts infused with religious dynamics. Just as significant, but less visible, are places where religious actors have promoted conflict resolution and peace, as in South Africa, Mozambique, and Colombia. This collection of case studies provides a resource for teachers, students, and policy professionals seeking a deeper understanding of religion’s complex role in conflicts and peacebuilding around the world. Each case looks at religion not in isolation but as it interacts with other domestic and international factors.
October 29, 1979
[P]eace cannot be established by violence, peace can never flourish in a climate of terror, intimidation and death. It is Jesus himself who said: "All who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Mt 26 :52). This is the word of God, and it commands this generation of violent men to desist from hatred and violence and to repent.
September 21, 1981
This act must be called by its proper name of murder. I plead for an immediate end to this cruel and senseless carnage.
March 7, 2000
We are saying as churchmen what people on the ground are feeling is growing frustration with that situation, a growing feeling of deja-vu and a certain degree of cynicism. We believe the time has come when we as churchmen have to say this isn't in the good of our community.
March 16, 2005
The IRA has long enjoyed the support, in Ireland as well as in my country, of people who might have regretted their tactics, but appreciated their service in the republican cause and their defense of Catholics persecuted in the North. Whatever your views about the historic cause they claimed to have served or the methods they employed, which were, in my opinion, indefensible, no one can honestly claim today that the IRA is anything better than an organized crime syndicate that steals and...
January 1, 1985
If you were deceived and misled into believing that we anticipate vengeance against you, your fears are unjustified. For those of you who are peaceful, continue to live in our midst without anybody even thinking to trouble you. We don't wish you evil. We call upon you to embrace Islam so that you can be happy in this world and the next. If you refuse to adhere to Islam, maintain your ties with the Muslims and don't take part in any activity against them. Free yourselves from the consequences...
April 21, 2007
[Lebanon is witnessing] political extremism, which is worse than religious extremism. The current political extremism may have negative repercussions on religious and sectarian feelings...which is unacceptable... If political strife ignites today, it will only take a few months to burn the whole country, not 16 years.
[...] 7.There shall be a citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to be regulated by the Parliamentary Assembly, and a citizenship of each Entity, to be regulated by each Entity, provided that:
a) All citizens of either Entity are thereby citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
b) No person shall be deprived of Bosnia and Herzegovina or Entity citizenship arbitrarily or so as to leave him or her stateless. No person shall be deprived of Bosnia and Herzegovina or Entity citizenship on any ground...
1. Human Rights
January 4, 2007
Bosnia and Herzegovina and both Entities shall ensure the highest level of internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. To that end, there shall be a Human Rights Commission for Bosnia and Herzegovina as provided for in Annex 6 to the General Framework Agreement.
2. International Standards
The rights and freedoms set forth in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols shall apply directly in...
I speak to you today as the crusader Ethiopian invasion forces violate the soil of the beloved Muslim Somalia — launch ambushes, land mines, raids and suicidal combats until you consume them as the lions and eat their prey.
July 23, 2006
The Somalia people are a homogenous people having the same culture, same language, same religion, same sect also. The only system they can accept to choose is Islam; no one can force them to take another.
Uganda shall not adopt a State religion.
November 17, 2004
I have extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan. Our doors are open to everyone who wants to talk to me calmly. My mind is open to new ideas. If this is based on good intentions, I have a place in my heart for all of you.
March 10, 2003
It is a pity that the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia are seeking social justice by committing the worst injustices, such as depriving a person of his liberty. Social justice will never be the product of injustice, never. It is impossible for injustice to produce justice. This is the tragedy of all that we are going through in our country.
March 13, 1998
Peace therefore demands firm, constant efforts to work for social justice and sustainable human development, which implies deep structural reforms and a political will that leads all sectors of society to a commitment to peace. The Social Doctrine of the Church offers basic criteria for authentic development that benefits everyone, especially those who are most in need. In the words of Pope Paul VI, "Development is the new name for peace."
May 20, 2004
My motivation is to achieve the salvation of the people, albeit with danger to my own life. It isn't easy [for the armed groups] to target priests with threats and assassination attempts, because what is least convenient for them is the creation of martyrs. The church has to talk with everyone. Our goal is to fight against evil, not against the evildoers. To fight against sin, not against the sinner.
The most important characteristics of the Magdelena Medio Peace and Development Program (PDPMM) are that it is a process built from below, with broad participation by inhabitants, founded on simple, concrete and easily shared ideas. With approximately 15,000 people working with the same principles and objectives, it has an efficient communication process from and to the population, and from the PDPMM to national and international institutions. Crucially, it is administered by an organization...
Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state.
(1) The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam.
(2) Followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law.
(1) The citizens of Afghanistan have the right to form social organizations for the purpose of securing material or spiritual aims in accordance with the provisions of the law.
(2) The citizens of Afghanistan have the right to form political parties in accordance with the provisions of the law, provided that:
-- The program and charter of the party are not contrary to the principles of sacred religion of Islam, and the provisions and values of this Constitution.
-- The organizational...
In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam
The state shall devise and implement a unified educational curriculum based on the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam, national culture, and in accordance with academic principles, and develops the curriculum of religious subjects on the basis of the Islamic sects existing in Afghanistan.
The President-elect, prior to resumption of his/her duties, performs the following oath of allegiance in the presence of members of the National Assembly and the chief justice:
"In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate In the name of God Almighty, in the presence of you representatives of the nation of Afghanistan, I swear to obey and safeguard the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam, to observe the Constitution and other laws of Afghanistan and supervise their...
(1) The President takes into consideration the supreme interests of the people of Afghanistan while enforcing the powers stated in this Constitution.
April 15, 1999
(2) The President cannot sell or bestow state properties without the provisions of the law.
(3) The President cannot act based on linguistic, ethnic, religious, political, and regional considerations during his term in office.
I think it is one of the worst examples of systematic human rights abuses in the world today, and a terrible perversion of Islam.
August 20, 1998
I want you to understand, I want the world to understand that our actions today were not aimed against Islam, the faith of hundreds of millions of good, peace-loving people all around the world, including the United States. No religion condones the murder of innocent men, women, and children. But our actions were aimed at fanatics and killers who wrap murder in the cloak of righteousness and in so doing profane the great religion in whose name they claim to act.
January 23, 1980
The implications of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan could pose the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War. The vast majority of nations on Earth have condemned this latest Soviet attempt to extend its colonial domination of others and have demanded the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops. The Moslem world is especially and justifiably outraged by this aggression against an Islamic people.
October 9, 2001
We are at war, a new kind of war as the President has rightly called it. It might not involve nations clashing in conventional sea, land and air battles, although it is possible that it could come to that. I should add that I don't consider the operations in Afghanistan that commenced on Sunday to be a war against a nation, much less a war against the Muslim world. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are not legitimate representatives of that country; they are terrorists, period, who represent evil, not...
We the people of Afghanistan:
February 11, 1985
1. With firm faith in God Almighty and relying on His lawful mercy, and Believing in the Sacred religion of Islam,
2. Realizing the injustice and shortcoming of the past, and the numerous troubles imposed on our country,
3. While acknowledging the sacrifices and the historic struggles, rightful Jehad and just resistance of all people of Afghanistan, and respecting the high position of the martyrs for the freedom of Afghanistan,
4. Understanding the fact that...
The people of the United States share with the people of Saudi Arabia a deep moral outrage over the continuing aggression and butchery taking place in Afghanistan. The citizens of the Western democracies and the Muslim world, by all that they believe to be true and just, should stand together in opposition to those who would impose dictatorship on all of mankind.
February 11, 1985
Marxist tyranny already has its grip on the religious freedom of the world's fifth largest Muslim population. This same grip strangles the prayers of Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. We all worship the same God. Standing up to this onslaught, the people of Afghanistan, with their blood, courage, and faith, are an inspiration to the cause of freedom everywhere.
March 21, 1983
Today, March 21st, is New Years Day in much of the Moslem world. New years, of course, should be an occasion for celebration. But for the Moslem people of Afghanistan, whose country was attacked and is occupied by the Soviet Army, it is a bitter reminder of a national calamity that befell their nation more than 3 years ago. To focus the world's attention on this crime against an innocent and brave nation, we observe today the second annual Afghanistan Day.
April 23, 1986
And let no one mistake this for a conflict between the Western democracies and the Arab world. Those who condone making war by cowardly attacks on unarmed third parties, including women and children, are but a tiny minority. Arab nations themselves have been forced to endure savage terrorist attacks from this minority. We hope and pray the Arab world will join with us to eliminate this scourge on civilization. I might add that Colonel Qadhafi's expectation of unquestioned support from the...
April 12, 2009
Compatriots, the Muslim community has always been part of the struggles to build our country to be a better society, free of racism and apartheid. This was a logical development as many Muslims came to South Africa as slaves and experienced racism first hand.
December 11, 1984
There is no peace in Southern Africa. There is no peace because there is no justice. There can be no real peace and security until there be first justice enjoyed by all the inhabitants of that beautiful land. The Bible knows nothing about peace without justice, for that would be crying peace, peace, where there is no peace. Gods Shalom, peace, involves inevitably righteousness, justice, wholeness, fullness of life, participation in decision-making, goodness, laughter, joy, compassion, sharing...