Although religion is almost never a root cause, it often gets pulled into conflict as a powerful element, especially where conflicting parties have different religious identities. Every faith tradition offers resources for peace, and secular policy makers are more and more acknowledging the influence of faith-based actors, even though there remains a tendency to associate religion more with conflict than peace. In this text, practitioners from different faiths relate and explore the many challenges they face in their peacebuilding work, which their secular partners may be unaware of. The contributors are all practitioners whose faith or religious experience motivates their work for peace and justice in such a way that it influences their actions. Their roles are diverse, as some work for faith-based institutions, while others engage in secular contexts. The multiple perspectives featured represent multiple faiths (Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish), diverse scopes of practice, different geographic regions.
Each chapter follows a similar template to address specific challenges, such as dealing with extremist views, addressing negative stereotypes about one’s faith, endorsing violence, developing relations with other faith-based or secular groups, confronting gender-based violence, and working with people who hold different beliefs. In this text, practitioners from different faiths relate and explore the many challenges they face in their peacebuilding work, which their secular partners may be unaware of. They provide a comprehensive view of the practice of peacebuilding in its many challenging aspects, for both professionals and those studying religion and peacebuilding alike.