Religion’s Roles in Peacebuilding: The 29th Annual Law and Religion Symposium

The ICLRS held its 29th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, “Religion’s Roles in Peacebuilding,” 1–5 October 2022. While the Covid pandemic restricted Symposia to online meetings in 2020 and 2021, this year’s Symposium gathered more than 80 delegates from 40 countries for sessions and related events at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, and in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. The following select presentations are illustrative of the depth and breadth of the Symposium’s 90-plus presentations.

Participants of the 29th ICLRS Annual Law and Religion Symposium

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Understanding Religion’s Roles in Peacebuilding

James Christie is Ambassador-at-Large for the Canadian Multifaith Federation. The following is an edited summary of his remarks at the 29th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, 3 October 2022.

It is not my custom to dedicate a particular paper or talk to any one person, but in this case, I wish to make an exception. Recently the world, and my country especially, lost the Honorable the Reverend Professor William Alexander Blaikie, one of Canada’s longest-serving politicians and Social Democrats, statesman, and the director of the Knowles-Woodsworth Centre for Theology and Public Policy, which came under my administrative purview many years ago. His contributions were enormous, and I should like to dedicate these thoughts to the inspiration of Bill and his memory. May he rest in peace.

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Religious Persecution, Mental Health, and Music: AMAR Foundation 2022 Windsor Dialogue Conferences

In 2022, the ICLRS cosponsored two conferences as part of The AMAR International Charitable Foundation’s Windsor Dialogue series.

Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, Member of the UK House of Lords, founded AMAR in the early 1990s in response to persecution of Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq. As conflict in the Middle East resulted in greater numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), AMAR expanded its charitable efforts to encompass the development of primary health care, mental health care, educational, and other resources in Iraq and elsewhere. Much of AMAR’s work has focused on assisting groups that have suffered religious persecution, particularly the Yazidis of northern Iraq.

The goal, of course, is to help groups that are persecuted on the basis of their religious identities and affiliations make the journey from persecution to inclusion.

—Brett Scharffs, ICLRS director

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