Introduction to Religion and Peacebuilding
How does the Thai state’s relationship to religion affect religious coexistence in Southern Thailand? Can you think of other examples of where a government or national affiliation with religion impacts relations between groups of people?
In countries where religion and state are not separated people of a different religion always feel sidelined or undermined. In Malawi for example, is called a “Christian nation” and any laws that seem to be unchristian in nature are frowned upon.
Agreed. It even exists in the US.
Yes… The feeling of been sidelined by people of the other faith is essentially what triggers the inner rage that brings about conflict and war
I totally agree
By identifying a Nation with a faith, it breeds problems. Thai-ness might well have been what helped peace talks begin. Accepting and allowing practice of various faiths and simply seeing them as “different” similar to the concept of where one comes from would be helpful to the peace process. The concept of a “Christian” Nation makes no room for diversity and doesn’t even really acknowledge the diversity in America. It says to people who aren’t Christian that they are somehow “less American”
I like your example of the United States because it shows how a nation that claims diversity can still create division through using religion as representing a nation.
For example on that case is the same as Darfur
When you associate religion with a country it automatically creates an additional factor in which people are judged. Religion specifically does not create division but the association of acceptance into a society being based upon a certain action.
I agree with that, it’s what fuels anomosity in a country.
Any nation whose government identifies with a particular faith will be conflict dominated. There is bound to be reactions and opposition because those of the other would always imagine that governmental policies and decisions are deliberately taken to disfavour them. Government should endeavour to be neutral on the issues of religion and persons of all faith should be included in governance. This can help to foster a peace process.
The inner mind is a conglomeration of accumulated bias and can trigger hate among a set of people, a Government must show compassion and equality among it’s ethnic and religious populace to Foster peace and Harmony.
The other religions that are not Buddhist felt threatened by the action of the government and saw it as oppression and responded in like a violent manner. Yes, In Nigeria I see some of the religious crises as an indication that a particular ethnic group that may identify with a particular religion feels threatened by the another ethnic group and it is mostly about political and economic domination.
This is very intelligent analysis
Being that diverse religious affiliations exist in most countries it only makes sense for the government to be neutral and not show preference to any so that conflict and strife does not arise which can lead to great destruction and even loss of lives
Religious conflicts should be treated neutrally by the government. No religion should see the government as favouring the other. That is the cause of most of the problems now because it is really very difficult to draw a line between religious and other conflicts. That is the reason why countries should have intelligent people in the government who will be able to deal with issues that cause conflicts in a neutral ways without being seen as aiding any party.
The Thai State’s relationship to religion proved to be lopsided by introducing the policy of assimilation.
In Burma some people feel that the government align more with Buddhist more than any other religion.