Religion, Conflict, and COVID-19

A Regional Conversation on South Asia

People line up for temperature checks in India

June 4, 2020
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. EDT
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

The global spread of coronavirus has impacted religious practices and communities in significant ways, prompting diverse religious responses that can affect peace, conflict, and stability. This is particularly apparent in South Asia, where lines of division in religiously plural countries are at risk of deepening through pandemic response. Religious actors have responded in ways that have both fueled and mitigated social tensions, reinforced or resisted public health directives restricting in-person worship, and tended to the needs of the most vulnerable in society, including those affected by conflict.

In this invitation-only virtual roundtable discussion, diverse religious actors from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka spoke about religious dimensions and responses to the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic with conflict dynamics. Opening presentations were followed by discussion to strategize collectively about the needs of religious actors to respond effectively to the pandemic, including through multifaith platforms, to serve community well-being and peace.

This event was hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace in partnership with the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University; Network for Religious & Traditional Peacemakers; Religions for Peace; World Faiths Development Dialogue; KAICIID; and United Religions Initiative.

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