A Religio-Theological Perspective of the Role of Religion in Conflict Resolution

Therese Tinkasiimire


The Christian religion has a mandate from Jesus Christ to spread the Good News in the world (Mt. 28:19-20), in the process it meets a lot of conflicts, wars and other misunderstandings in society. The philosophy of religion is to invite men and women to discover themselves as transcendent beings, in every dimension of their lives, including those related to social, economic and political contexts. Religion preaches love, justice, and human dignity but in the world we find that there is a lot of injustice, unfairness, hatred, corruption and other evils which religion has to contend with. The philosophy of the world is quite different from that of religion. Church Leaders such as Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador has played a major role in convincing the Roman Catholic Church to switch its traditional alliances with the wealthy and powerful to stand with the poor against injustice, thus living out the Gospel message portrayed in the Bible. [1]

In this paper, I would like to argue that it is the mandate of the Church to engage in conflict mitigation just as Cardinal Oscar Romero and other Church Leaders have done and are still doing. Another example is that of Pope John Paul 11 who wrote three Encyclicals which were compiled into a volume known as a Compendium of the social Doctrine of the Church. [2] This starts from the family, the smallest and vital cell of society. The Churchs work of mitigation starts from here and progresses to the community and to the entire society. I would like to find out whether the Church is faithfully fulfilling her mandate among the less fortunate citizens living in Kampala slums like Katanga and Kisenyi and in Northern Uganda where civil war has been raging on for over twenty years.

The people in northern Uganda have lost their social fabric due to the prolonged war which displaced them from their homes this has brought a lot of changes, in the area of values, culture and generally how people perceive the world today. In Uganda corruption is the order of the day. There is also instability, exploitation and even slavery. Is the Church showing a preferential love for the poor? This represents a fundamental choice for the Church and is she ready to propose this for all people of good will? On the other hand, the well to do people, are threatened by lack of meaning in their lives, drug abuse, alcohol addiction, and HIV/AIDS. Is the Church ready to offer the Good News of peace to these people too? Is she ready to offer healing of body and soul to the world today? This is a big challenge, because the proclamation of Good News of salvation, love, justice, and peace is not readily received in the world especially in countries like Uganda which has been devastated by civil wars, poverty, injustice, and HIV/AIDS. Many peoples hearts have been hardened by all these evils they need to hear this message in a new way. On the other hand there are some people in Uganda who have used religion to gain their own glory, such as Joseph Kony, Kibwetere and Alice Auma Lakwena.


Conflict mitigation, Escalation, Islam and Christianity in Uganda, reconciliation.

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J.R. Brockman* Pastoral Teaching of Archbishop Oscar Romero: Option for the Poor:

Catholic Social Teaching. Internet:

http://www.spiritualitytoday.org/spir2day/884022brockman.html. Summer 1988, Vol. 40. No.

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. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

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. M. A. Lugira. The Catholic Church and Development in Uganda.* Internet: http://www2.bc.edu/Lugira/Churchdevelopment.html p.1. [Jun. 19, 2013].

. Kabiza Wilderness Safari (1996-2011). Alice Auma Lakwena-Mystic-Priestess.* Internet: http://kabiza.com/African-Insights-Blog-Alice-Auma-Lakwena.html p.1. [Jun. 20, 2013].

. P. Ajuna. Kibwetere, the Leader of the Movement of the Restoration of the 10 Commandments and his Assistants. Unpublished. P. 1-2.


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