Religious leaders are influential figures in Burundi and can play instrumental roles in promoting social cohesion in a context where the risk of ethnic polarisation is high. Fault lines in political power, economic wealth and ethnicity reinforce one another. While some faith leaders remain closely allied to the ruling regime and the main faith organisations have not adopted a formal policy of opposing the ruling party, faith leaders’ efforts “to stand up for the needs of their congregations, to defend them from violence, and to provide both material and spiritual support is often seen by political leaders as a threat” (Beatty Riedl, R,2017). Therefore, relations between the government and some faith actors have worsened in recent years. The government seeks to increase its control over faith actors to curb political dissent (Freedom in the World, 2021).
This impact brief highlights the main outcomes in Burundi from the project ‘Communities Richer in Diversity’, whose aim was to promote cultural diversity and respect for equal dignity of all people through interfaith and intercultural dialogue and cooperation. Please access it here: [pdf-embedder url=”https://www.faithtoactionetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/CRID-Burundi_Final-.pdf” title=”CRID Burundi_Final”]