Culture of Peace

Oct 15, 2010 | Statement

Many of the principles and methods of the European Council of Religious Leaders are closely related to those implied by the concept of a culture of peace. The UN has declared 2001-2010 a decade for the promotion of a culture of peace.

The UN decade has sometimes been criticised for being too broad and unfocussed in its approach, making every aspect of development and environmental issue a question of a culture of peace. When we use the term culture of peace, we focus primarily on the formational (individual and in society) side of peace culture.

Peace is furthered when individuals and societies internalise patterns of behaviour that favour dialogue over aggression, creative tension over enforced unity, trust building measures over confrontation. Religious tradition gives important impulses to many people in their personal formation, as well as in societies where religions play a visible role in the public sphere.

What we do:

Building Interreligious Councils to promote a culture of peace.
Religions for Peace is committed to promote the building of such councils not only in situations of severe crisis, but in countries where relations between religions are relatively peaceful but underdeveloped. Interreligious Councils in which representatives from different religious traditions learn to interact with mutual respect and a certain mutual accountability are elements within a culture of peace. ECRL is supporting newly formed Interreligious Councils in their capacity building, and thus contributes to filling their roles within a peace culture.

Peace Education
The WCRP Peace Education Standing Commission (PESC) continues to provide updated thinking in this important field, and ECRL will make use of these resources. See more on the PESC web-site.

Our members and their networks are challenged to develop principled thinking on the role of religion within a culture of peace.

The WCRP relates to the UN policies and following up of the Decade. Read the latest statement by the WCRP Secretary General on the “Culture of Peace” Meeting at the UN from 2008, Nov 13

The next step..
Religions for Peace supports efforts to make 2011-2020 a UN decade for dialogue, building on the best qualities of the Decade for a culture of peace.

UN Culture of Peace Decade site

UNESCO’s Culture of Peace Decade site:

The Global Movement for a Culture of Peace

Update or express yourself on recent developments on the Culture of Peace News Network