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The Mission of ICRD

To prevent and resolve identity-based conflicts that exceed the reach of traditional diplomacy by incorporating religion as part of the solution.

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

New Blog Post: Building Resilient Communities Abroad

With the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) taking place this week, ICRD’s Andrew McDonnell comments on the effectiveness of the administration’s current CVE strategies, offers suggestions for how these strategies can be improved, and cites the projects ICRD has created to address this issue. In the piece, McDonnel argues “it is imperative that CVE programs reach out to conservative, illiberal, even hostile Muslim populations around the world and identify those among them who are committed to peace or might respond positively to moral suasion by their co-religionists.” Read the full blog piece here.

A Thank You from Our Program Director for Support of Our Program in Yemen

Dear GlobalGiving Community and other supporters,
I want to personally thank all of you for your support for the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy’s project to empower religious, tribal, and other community leaders in Yemen to address conflicts peacefully. To view the project on GlobalGiving click here.
The current obstacles in Yemen may seem greater than ever. Now, however, is precisely the time to support the efforts of brave Yemenis who are taking steps to address conflict and community needs where state institutions are unable to do so, and where opportunistic groups that actively promote violence fill the void.
Even small steps can be ripples in a pond—impacting segments of society which in turn impact others, and laying the groundwork for Yemen’s community leaders to be better able to engage peacefully and constructively with whatever challenges lie ahead.
With Deep Gratitude,
Rebecca Cataldi
Program Manager, Yemen
International Center for Religion & Diplomacy

Hold Islam to account for extremism, but not in contempt

Over the past week, Dr. Douglas Johnston addressed World Affairs Councils in Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska, and Seattle, WA on the challenges of religious extremism and what ICRD is doing to address them.

In conjunction with his trip, Dr. Johnston published a piece for the  Alaska Dispatch News:
“It is often easy to lose the forest in the midst of falling trees, but our chances for not doing so will greatly improve if we can rise above our visceral reactions to individual acts of terrorism and consider the larger whole — and how that whole can be enhanced with a more sophisticated understanding of other cultures, including how religion informs their world views and socio-political aspirations.” Read the full article here.

Monthly Update - January 2015

Check out our latest monthly update, which discusses the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the dangers of condemning an entire religion based on the terrible actions of a few individuals. Read the full update here. You can view all our updates here, including December’s update on the tragedy in Peshawar, Pakistan and November’s update on Brigham Young University’s conference on religion and diplomacy’s role in international affairs.

Crowd Sourcing for Peace in Yemen

ICRD is excited to present our first foray into crowd sourcing. Please join in supporting us in the Global Giving Challenge. 100% of your donation will go to supporting ICRD’s new programming in Yemen where we are empowering faith-based peacebuilders to prevent the spread of violent extremism in their communities. If you donate in December you will help secure ICRD a permanent spot on the Global Giving website. Click here to donate and hear more about our program!

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