The recent reports from Iraq has provided us with the dreadful stories on how the Islamic State (IS) is slaughtering people from the Yazidi and Christian minority communities in Iraq. They must be stopped. Unfortunately I do not see a peaceful solution to the tragedy.
Kyrgyzstan consists of a rich diversity of different religious groups and movements. Even though the country’s constitution now secures full freedom of religion or belief, the post-Soviet country struggles to find the right balance between religious freedom and state control.
2012 has been a very busy year for The Oslo Center with increased engagement in democracy support to vulnerable and fragile democracies. The main focus has been on Kenya and Somalia, two countries where democracy is facing major challenges.
As long as there are religious groups and institutions in a society, there is a need for a policy on religion. But politics should not be faith-based.
There is broad consensus that religion plays an important role in the world. In spite of this, there has been little focus on the implications religion has on the development and the development policy we pursue. Realizing this The Oslo Center has spent the past eighteen months on the report on Religion and Development.
Religion is difficult enough in itself, but if you mix religion and development you’ll find an even more complex and vast landscape of challenges and opportunities. In Norway we’ve barely dipped our toe into it, but luckily someone else has led the way before us, and there is much to learn from them.
– The development field has for a long time been secularized and that it is about time to strengthen the understanding of how religious actors and religious beliefs influence development, State Secretary at the Ministry of Development, Arvinn Gadgil says.
“Development is seen as something of the past”. The quote belongs to a strategy advisor in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Netherlands have always been an example to follow in development issues. Now it’s leading politicians wants to make development history. The rest of Europe might just follow in its wake.
A full community house in Tromsoe made for a good reception of the debate about Religion and Conflict.
Are the Norwegian missionaries conducting good aid or is the aid merely a spearhead of the struggle to save souls? This is one of the main subjects in our debate of the relations between mission and aid. The question raises a principal discussion about faith and politics as well as what good aid is.