Religion and Development
On Monday 9/11 President of The Oslo Center, Kjell Magne Bondevik, handed the final report on Religion and development to the Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås.
The report points to how sensitive religious issues are perceived, and that it has been up to the individual’s personal involvement to incorporate this dimension into the development process. This has often led to an ad hoc approach to religion despite the fact that religion often plays an important role in most countries where Norway is involved in development policy.
The Oslo Center’s project concludes that religion must be taken seriously and that we need to raise awareness of religions organizational and social aspects in the state administration. We must build a greater expertise on religion with those who work with development. Both in terms of a general basic understanding of religions and the relationship between religion and society, as well as a specific and contextual knowledge for those who are involved in areas where religion has an important social impact.
The Minister congratulated the Oslo Center with a job well done, and expressed that a project like this is crucial for a good development policy and that the project had resulted in a useful report for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.