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Is religion a source of unity or division?

Religious leaders promote a message of co-operation between followers of different faiths.

Last updated: 27 Mar 2014 19:38
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It is blamed for wars and discrimination, yet also embraced as a means of resolution and integration.

Religion is the source of many arguments, while some studies suggest it is on the decline.

A conference in Qatar is promoting a message of interfaith dialogue, of religion as a means of global co-existence.

"This is very helpful in terms of breaking misconceptions, all the challenges we have in the peace-building process, the barriers to achieving peace, it is very important that we search for common ground," Rohaniza Sumndad Usman, founder of the Teach Peace, Build Peace Movement told Al Jazeera.

Blaming religion as the cause of conflict is an easy generalisation to make.

Fighting in Central African Republic is between Muslims and Christians; Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims are involved in the violence in Myanmar; the conflict in Northern Ireland had its roots in religion; and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is seen as having a religious dimension.

But in all these examples, there are more fundamental driving forces - be it land, power or nationalism.

So is religion at the heart of conflicts around the world? And do different faiths have the will to work together for a common good?

Presenter: Mike Hanna

Guests: Professor Ibrahim Saleh al-Naimi - Chairman of Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue.

Archbishop Makarios Mavrogiannakis - Head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Doha.

Rabbi David Rosen - International Director of Interreligious Affairs for the Global Jewish Advocacy.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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