Religion is a positive force for peacebuilding and preventing violent extremisms (PVE). Indeed, religious institutions and actors play an important role in building peace yet underutilized instruments in the prevention and resolution of violent extremisms. The objective of this research aims to investigate the role of religious institutions in peacebuilding and examine their perceptions and participation in light of the challenges and prospects taking the case of the Inter-religious Council of Addis Ababa (IRCAA).

The findings are situated IRCAA peacebuilding efforts should engage different stakeholders’ involvement to reduce conflicts in Addis Ababa who have a stake in bringing long-lasting peace. However, they face challenges relating to knowledge, skills, experience, budget, and peacebuilding manuals. The participation of youth and women in peacebuilding activities is limited. In addition, religious institutions and leaders may also lack professionalism to use modern peacebuilding mechanisms rather than an emphasis on religious aspects.

The IRCAA should build a nexus with relevant faith-based and civil society actors that are necessary for success in sensitive environments, which can enhance the quality of activities. IRCAA should also work with different stakeholders to address the gap in knowledge, skills, experience, budget, and peacebuilding manuals. IRCAA together with other stakeholders, for instance, FBOs, CSOs, both local and international NGOs should advocate and lobby for a change of policies in the government in the involvement of religion and religious organizations, which are significantly appealing to the communities.

Therefore, based on the findings of the data analysis and discussions, I present some workable recommendations on several ways that IRCAA and others can incorporate with the Inter-religious Council of Addis Ababa for building and sustaining peace in Addis Ababa and Ethiopia.

This paper is published under the “Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), Youth & Interfaith: Research Capacity Building Project”. Read more about the project on the following link:

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