WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The International Center for Religion & Diplomacy is finishing out this unprecedented year by taking a look back at five of 2020’s peaceful moments.
The ICRD hopes the moments of hope and peace remind people that there are ways forward, even in years as tumultuous as 2020.
2020 was the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security. The resolution recognized the important role women play in violence prevention, peacebuilding, and conflict resolution, and encouraged ways to make a space for them at the international table.
This year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis called for a global ceasefire during the pandemic.
In October, over 1,000 detainees were released in Yemen during a civil war that has raged for five years. The International Committee of the Red Cross interviewed the freed prisoners and gave them medical assistance.
UNICEF and Religions for Peace partnered to raise awareness of the pandemic’s effects on young people, from educational barriers to COVID-19’s physiological and neurological effects.
On November 1, two days before the U.S. presidential election, the Washington National Cathedral prayed for healing during its interfaith service, “Holding Onto Hope, a National Service for Healing and Wholeness.”
The ICRD is not a religious organization, but it develops policies and intervention strategies with religion in mind. ICRD President and CEO, James Patton, says religion can be a peacemaker in its powerful structures and resources, the shared identity it creates and the individual motivations it instills in people.
Patton hopes the list of 2020’s peaceful moments show the ways in which religion isn’t divisive. “Religious identity can actually be quite a powerful tool when it comes to having people understand one another and having people build empathy and compassion for one another and start to look for new relationships, new institutions that serve our collective interests even though we might have differences of opinion.”
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