Religion in Colombia: Negotiating the FARC Peace Processes

November 10, 2016

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On October 4, Colombian voters narrowly rejected a peace agreement that promised to end a complex 53-year long conflict. The conflict has touched most corners of Colombian society: more than 7 million people have been displaced, the highest number of internally displaced people in the world, and over 220,000 people have been killed. The laborious peace process, led by the government, has involved many actors, and religious figures have been prominent among them. The shock of the hair-thin defeat of the agreement, with announcement of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, leaves a host of questions about conflict resolution and peacebuilding today.

This week, Berkley Forum contributors explore the religious dimensions of the current situation in Colombia. What roles have they played in fueling conflict and, above all, in working for peace, both through the formal negotiation process and in communities? What role have formal religious institutions played, but also other actors, including religious women? How can and should the peace accord address root causes of conflict like natural resource exploitation? And how can the contentious issues of reconciliation and forgiveness be approached?

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