Policy Brief: Conflict and Peacebuilding in Bangladesh - Religious Dimensions

Author: Nathaniel Adams

December 1, 2014

In recent years Bangladesh has experienced some of the worst communal violence seen since the bloody Liberation War in 1971. Hundreds have been killed and thousands injured, with much of the violence directed at religious minorities. Though reliable data is piecemeal, in 2013 alone, 94 major incidents of violence against religious minorities were reported, with 202 temples and shrines vandalized and burnt. Although violence against religious minorities has complex social and historical dimensions, much of the unrest has been sparked by recent political events, including the contested 2014 elections and the ongoing war crimes trials of Islamist political leaders. Given the religious dimensions of communal violence in Bangladesh, it is important to explore ways to engage with faith actors to mitigate violence and build peace. This brief is intended to provide information on recent communal violence in Bangladesh and detail existing faith-inspired peacebuilding efforts on the ground.

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