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The Mission of ICRD

Bridging Religious Considerations with the Practice of International Politics in Support of Peacemaking.

Many ethnic, tribal and religious conflicts do not lend themselves to government-to-government intervention. To complement those efforts, ICRD employs its unique capabilities in the areas where it can have a value-added impact by:
1) decreasing religion’s role as a driver of conflict;
2) increasing the role of religious clergy and laity in peacemaking;
3) increasing the capacity of religious peacemakers;
4) increasing policy-makers’ awareness of and receptivity to the potential contributions of religious peacemakers.
Regardless of one’s spiritual persuasion, there are two compelling reasons why the Center’s work is important. First, the need for more effective preventive measures to minimize the occasions in which we are forced to send our sons and daughters in harm’s way. Second, the need for a stable global environment to support the kind of economic growth that can benefit an expanding percentage of the world’s population. By linking religious reconciliation with official or unofficial diplomacy, ICRD has created a new synergy for peacemaking that serves both of these needs.

New Developments

ICRD Update: A Radical View of Yemen

This August, ICRD released a study on violent extremism in Yemen – Addressing Jihadi-Salafism in Yemen: The Role of Religion and Community in the Midst of Civil War. Our latest update details the report’s findings and analysis from direct engagement with conservative Sunni religious actors on strategies to arrest the influence of al-Qaeda and ISIS affiliates in Yemen.

This is the third Yemen report released by ICRD and represents one piece of a much larger research project to assess how conservative religious actors can be constructively engaged in CVE.

ICRD Testifies on the Hill

In July 2017, ICRD’s President Emeritus, Dr. Douglas Johnston, testified on the Hill about Saudi Arabia’s public education curriculum. During the hearing, Dr. Johnston described the findings of our landmark 2012 evaluation of the Saudi religious and social science curriculum, including modest improvements and content requiring additional reform. Click here to view the live recording of the testimony, and here for a fuller description and context.

Get to know ICRD's new President and CEO James Patton


From BYU Radio: Give a listen to this Top of Mind with Julie Rose podcast interview with ICRD President and CEO James Patton, on the Center’s work in Colombia – training women and religious peacemakers on facilitating reconciliation between former combatants and conflict impacted communities.


In this recent interview by fellow peacemaker Katherine Marshall from the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, James Patton gives a warm and personal account of his journey to becoming a peacemaker and, just a few months ago, ICRD’s President and CEO.

NEW Publications!

ICRD is proud to share two new publications covering our work in Yemen.  The first report, Empowering Yemeni Peacemakers: The Intersection of Conflict Resolution & CVEprovides an in-depth look at the approach and impact of ICRD field programming which has trained Yemeni religious and civil society leaders in conflict resolution and CVE skills, and supported them in community project implementation.

The second report, Addressing Jihadi-Salafism in Yemen: The Role of Religion and Community in the Midst of Civil Warsummarizes the findings of ICRD’s recent field research in Yemen – presenting effective strategies for engaging conservative and typically excluded faith leaders in efforts to counter violent extremism (CVE). This report is one piece of a larger research effort that looks at how highly conservative (even exclusivist) religious communities can be integrated into future CVE policies and programming.

ICRD Update: A Point Above the Horizon

Last month ICRD’s President Emeritus, Dr. Douglas Johnston, testified on the Hill about Saudi Arabia’s public education curriculum. Read our latest update to learn about his testimony and the Center’s ongoing work in facilitating textbook reform in the Kingdom.

This update also features our new White Paper Empowering Yemeni Peacemakers: The Intersection of Conflict Resolution & CVE, which details the far-reaching impact of our work in Yemen. This effort has culminated in local projects to resolve issues identified by participants and has affected more than 1,000 locals.

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