International Center for Religion & Diplomacy
To Bridge Religious Considerations with the Practice of International Politics in Support of Peacebuilding
- Conflict Resolution & Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
The drivers of violent extremism and other conflicts are deeply dependent upon local conditions. ICRD utilizes a participant-driven approach that allows beneficiaries to adapt the training content according to their own cultural, historical, and spiritual frames of reference. In this way, ICRD builds on the existing capacity of religious actors to serve as peacebuilders in their community. With support and mentorship from ICRD, these peacebuilders are mobilized in their respective communities to lead new grassroots initiatives and serve as agents of change. By empowering individuals and organizations that are committed to peace, ICRD leaves behind improved local capacity to respond to existing and unforeseen social conflicts.;
- Public Policy
ICRD has developed collaborative relationships with the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, and various national and international civil society networks to promote a more nuanced and constructive understanding of the potential role of religion in mitigating conflict. To better inform policy-makers, ICRD produces action-oriented research and analysis on sensitive issues that serves as the basis for behind-the-scenes engagements with key national stakeholders both within the U.S. and abroad
- Women Peacebuilders
ICRD works to empower women peacebuilders, particularly women of faith, to recognize and bring to bear their particular abilities and insights. In some contexts, this means leveraging their credibility as professionals, parents, educators, or non-combatants. In others, it means working alongside women leaders to influence social spaces that are only accessible to women. Though in many traditional contexts women of faith are excluded from serving in formal religious positions, they nonetheless play a critical, informal role in shaping the attitudes of the community. Across all of these efforts, ICRD remains acutely sensitive to the fact that constructive collaboration across gender divides is a key element in strengthening the role of women as leaders.
- Tolerance in Education
Education plays a critical and formative role in shaping youth attitudes toward identity differences and the use of violence. To ensure that education fosters tolerance, rather than hatred, ICRD has facilitated efforts to train religious educators, develop new teaching materials, implement critical thinking pedagogy, and petition for the removal of inflammatory content.
- Social Reconciliation
Religious faith and spirituality can be powerful forces in helping people to transcend ego, greed, pain, hatred and other drivers of conflict. ICRD works with a wide diversity of faith actors and communities to identify and access those values within their own tradition that support forgiveness, empathy, and respect for the other. ICRD facilitates difficult discussions between divided or adversarial communities by grounding its engagement in commonly-held values. This shared foundation in transcendent values can enable individuals to confront and overcome otherwise insurmountable barriers to reconciliation, such as historical grievances, mutual fear, or resource shortages. This approach is not solely intended for conflicts across religions. ICRD’s model of reconciliation allows conflict-affected communities to address deeply-held hostilities that are wholly unrelated to religious identity. To ensure that this model can extend beyond the immediate beneficiaries, ICRD equips local peacebuilders with the skills and knowledge necessary to bring reconciliation efforts to scale.
- Resilient Networks
Promoting sustained collaborative partnerships between otherwise disparate stakeholders is key to countering extremism and breaking cycles of violence. This means that members of different religions and sects must not only work together to achieve peace, they must also work with educators, local government officials, business leaders, legal and academic experts, and activists as one community. ICRD facilitates the development of engaged networks of peacebuilders by using shared values to bridge different faith traditions, civil society sectors, and marginalized and majority communities. Through these networks, peacebuilders collaborate to address issues of mutual concern and, in the process, build relationships that will provide additional capacity and support to face the challenges of the future.
Main Focus Countries of Activities
Morocco - Yemen - Pakistan - Spain - Indonesia - Kenya - Lebanon - Tunisia - USA - Yemen - Tunisia - Morocco - Colombia - Pakistan - Yemen - Pakistan - Saudi Arabia - USA - Pakistan - Iran - Colombia - Yemen - Syria - Kenya - Morocco - Yemen - Pakistan - Spain - Indonesia - Kenya - Lebanon - Tunisia