A closer look at the Sri Lankan experience may throw some light on other situations where struggles supposedly based on ethnicity or religion turn out to be more complex – and where human rights are of critical importance, says Savi Hensman.
New technology has always played a part in religious polemics and in the sense of identity generated through the heated exchange of opinion, says Adam Darlage. Consider Luther and the Catholics, and also what we see happening in cyberspace today.
The struggle between good religion and bad religion is at a crucial juncture on the domestic and global stage, says Giles Fraser. He believes the Quilliam Foundation, a new Muslim think tank, can make a positive contribution.
As Israel marks its 60th anniversary this May, for Israelis and Palestinians the conflict and the suffering continues, says Ben White. He believes that this landmark is an important opportunity for Christian leaders around the world to add their voices to a special call for a justice-based peace.
Fundamentalism is a 20th-century invention, in many ways a response to the rapid social change brought about by modernity and global capitalism, says Giles Fraser. It is a perversion of religion, and in no way the real thing, let alone its 'heartbeat'.
Does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights represent a triumph of the Enlightenment over superstition? Or has it sidelined religion and sought to impose monolithic norms on diverse communities and cultures? Savi Hensman says the reality is more complex than these popular antitheses suggest.
The managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine recently went to Damascus, where he interviewed President Bashar al-Assad. Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian assesses where the president stands in the tragic and bloody mess that exists in Syria at the moment, where ordinary people are caught between competing barbarisms.
Action of the World Council of Churches more than four decades ago raised the profile of environmental issues, and in the process helping to galvanise the ecological movement in communist East Germany, says Ekklesia associate Dr Stephen Brown. This became the soil for the independent ecology groups in the 1980s as one of the forms of dissent that culminated in East Germany’s 1989 peaceful revolution.