This report evaluates contemporary interreligious dialogue activities in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. In order to do so, it introduces a theoretical framework for analyzing interreligious dialogue activities in the Middle East and presents a cross-national analysis of contemporary dialogue trends and challenges. The report profiles the major dialogue initiatives active in each country and provides resources to learn more about them.
In general, the report offers a portrait of a dynamic field in motion whose development reflects both common regional trends and specific national dynamics. Dialogue activities face many political and religious challenges in the region, and the recent decline of interreligious dialogue activity in Turkey highlights its continued vulnerability in the Middle East. Despite these challenges, many of the actors interviewed for this report continue to place great hope in the capacity of dialogue to catalyze spiritual solidarity, social renewal and positive political reform. In many ways, interreligious dialogue activities have become central laboratories in the region where new models of religious and political development are being continuously constructed and tested. These models have the potential to shape the future of religious concerns, social relations and regional politics in the Middle East.