The Instrumentalization of Religion in Geopolitical Conflicts

What are the roles of religious beliefs and religious actors in the geopolitical conflicts that are shaking the world today? Andrew Bennett, Canada’s first ambassador for religious freedom, offered reflections on the different ways religion is instrumentalized to advance geopolitical aims, including justifying extremism and employing religiously-oriented propaganda in conflicts. Ambassador Bennett recently returned from Ukraine, and he is closely involved in the dynamic of Iraq and Syria, both conflicts with strong religious dimensions.

This event also explored the rise of extremism linked to religion and the policy options that relate to advancing religious freedom. The Berkley Center's Timothy Shah and José Casanova commented on the religious freedom agenda.

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