Throughout modern history, all key opinion formers have always been aware of the importance and relevance of religion and culture as key factors when engaging with parties on either side of conflict. Religious affiliation can be a cause of conflict but faith is also an agent in the resolution of conflict.
The role religion and identity play in international affairs is widely acknowledged by governments, diplomats, journalists and commentators. However, the level of knowledge, understanding, and engagement with the religious dimension of conflicts by governments and analysts varies widely. The Religious Affairs Advisory Council (RAAC) is committed to investigating all aspects of any conflict situation, actual or emerging, including in-depth analysis of relevant religious factors.
The RAAC is also committed to promoting inter-religious dialogue for the cause of conflict resolution and the RAAC works in cooperation with religious leaders to achieve shared objectives. Since its establishment earlier this year, The RAAC has taken a focused approach on the role of religion in international affairs. One outcome of this group’s work has been a number of reports and press releases in response to incidents around the world where religion has been a major factor. The RAAC has benefited from the advice and insight of a range of religious leaders and practitioners. The Religious Affairs Advisory Council now seeks to develop its association with religious and spiritual leaders.
Membership of the RAAC is by invitation only and includes eminent religious leaders who can act in an advisory capacity when the RAAC is responding to world events which have a specific and identifiable religious dimension. Through this collaboration it is envisaged that the RAAC’s expertise with and access to diplomats, commentators, the media and other relevant parties will ensure an authoritative, coherent, multi faith and expert response is collated by the RAAC for use in its work of conflict resolution and advocacy for dialogue.
Reverend Larry Wright
The Religious Affairs Advisory Council
The interlocutors on the council are Ayatollah Safavi, Bishop Michael of Woolwich, Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Church and Sheikh Abbas Shouman