About 80% of the world's population professes a religion. In many countries, religious actors play a major role in development, e.g. education and the satisfaction of basic needs. At the same time, freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) seems to be increasingly restricted and "religious" conflicts seem to be on the rise. We contribute to the international discussion how religion, and in particular FoRB, affects the Sustainable Development Goals. The project will provide policy recommendations with regard to potential religious partners in development cooperation.
The project addresses the above outlined question in three modules. Module 1 uses global disaggregated datasets to examine the links between FoRB and important SDGs such as health, education, democracy, peace, gender equality and climate protection. Module 2 maps religious actors in selected countries of the Global South (probably Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, India, Indonesia and Sudan). Module 3 develops compact position papers based on the findings of the other two modules and provides additional advisory services on an ongoing basis.
The project started in late autumn 2020. With the exception of preliminary findings on Eritrea, no results are available yet.