Version date: April 18, 2011 For the most recent version of this course, please visit: Copyright © 2008 Endowment for the United States Institute of PeaceUnited States Institute of Peace Certificate Course in Interfaith Conflict Resolution Produced by the Education and Training Center
2 1: Introduction About the Course This Certificate Course in Interfaith Conflict Resolutionis one in a series of courses developed by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to make its conflict management expertise and experience available to the widest possible audience. This course has been created in response to a need expressed by a wide range of professionals in the field of conflict management, including but by no means limited to lay leaders and clergy, who wish to be better equipped to deal with situations of conflict, whether local or global. It arises out of two convictions: That faith traditions themselves offer significant resources for healing broken relationships at the personal, community, national and international levels; and That these resources, combined with skills in conflict resolution, equip leaders of faith communities to become effective managers of conflict. Certificate of Completion Throughout the course, you will be prompted to test your understanding of terms and concepts. When the course is complete, you will have the opportunity to take a certificate exam. When you pass the exam, you will earn our Certificate of Completionfor this course. 1.1: The Role of Religion in Peacemaking Killing in Nigeria In recent years in Nigeria, tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims have been killed in violent conflicts. The country‘s Plateau State has been particularly hard hit. In Yelwa-Nshar, in the Shendam local government area, almost 1,000 individuals were killed in one month alone, provoking reprisals in both Kano State and Southeastern State. Many factors are important in this conflict, including ethnicity, economic differentials, land ownership, migratory patterns and political power. At the same time, substantial tension between Muslim and Christian faith communities has contributed to the violence, and the conflict has often been characterized as a religious one. Interfaith Dialogue Yet faith communities have also made substantial contributions to peace. For well over a decade, a local evangelical pastor, James Wuye, and a local imam, Mohammed Ashafa, have contributed to peacebuilding efforts throughout Nigeria.
3 In 2004, they brought together for the first time key leaders from the Muslim and Christian communities in Yelwa-Nshar. In intense, emotional meetings, they used a combination of interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution techniques to promote reconciliation. Their work resulted in a peace agreement between the two communities that has been supported by the governor of Plateau State and celebrated by several thousand people throughout the region.
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