"Waging Peace in the Name of Religion," a Commentary by Charles C. Haynes

August 5, 2007

Author: Charles C. Haynes

Source: First Amendment Center


Iraq, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Palestine. In a world torn by sectarian violence, religion is often seen as the problem, not the solution.

But an international coalition called Religions for Peace is working hard to change that perception by mobilizing religious leaders to fight back against those who use religion to promote violence.

Inter-religious dialogue is often dismissed (or overlooked) as a well-meaning but benign endeavor — certainly not risky or life-threatening. Hayder Karim knows better.

Karim, a 31-year-old Iraqi surgeon, was forced to leave his country this summer because he had the audacity to bring together Shiite and Sunni religious leaders in the cause of peace. As Iraq coordinator for Religions for Peace, he is no longer safe in Baghdad.