Youth inclusion, freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), and conflict transformation are interconnected; there will be no lasting peace without addressing all three. Conflict and fragile settings are rife with FoRB violations, which act as both drivers and consequences of violence. Though young people are essential actors in these contexts, formal religious institutions and leadership are largely in the hands of older men. Youth are not present in decision-making for a range of reasons including sociocultural and religious norms, perceived or real inexperience, and specific vulnerabilities. At the same time, these challenges and youth’s often innovative responses can point us to where targeted action would enable them to thrive, leading communities towards greater peace and respect for freedom of religion or belief. This issue brief outlines the key challenges and opportunities for youth leadership on FoRB.

Resource preview