This case study explores the impacts of interfaith peacebuilding activities in South Sudan that the Evangelical Alliance of South Sudan (EASS) and Pan-African Christian Women Alliance (PACWA) implemented in Juba, Yei, and Bor. It assesses the impacts by exploring three themes that emerge from analysis of secondary and primary evidence, namely, changing individual perceptions towards the ‘Other’, enhancing individual resilience, and improving relations between individuals from different ethnic and religious groups. Combining analyses of the EASS/PACWA project reports with primary empirical data collected from the three locations, the study examines EASS/PACWA interventions within the broader conflict resolution and peace processes in South Sudan. Overall, the underlying thinking is that national peace agreements, which the elite sign in mediated negotiations, do not lead to durable peace unless the implementers consider the agency of the grassroots communities. Since faith communities are rooted in these grassroots communities, they can promote post-agreement tolerance, reconciliation, and peace.
The research reviewed 17 EASS/PACWA project documents and collected empirical data from 92 project participants and beneficiaries. It finds that EASS/PACWA contributed to improving individual and community relations by triggering a process of ‘opening-up’ which challenged the participants’ stereotypes and prejudices towards the ‘Other’ and broadened their perceptions and worldviews. Such bottom-up peacebuilding work complements elite peace agreements at the national level
Kindly access the case study here: CASE STUDY SERIES NO. 5
Communities Richer in Diversity (CRID)
The four-year Communities Richer in Diversity project (CRID) aims at leveraging the influence of faith leaders and institutions to promote cultural diversity and respect for equal dignity in six African countries, namely, Burundi, Egypt, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. It was initiated by a consortium of faith-based organisations and networks, including Faith to Action Network (F2A), Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), African Council of Religious Leaders-Religion for Peace (ACRL-RfP), and All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) with financial support from the European Union (EU). The project started in April 2018, and by 31 March 2021, six-country partners had reached at least 25,000 young men and women with interfaith and intercultural interventions. Such interventions enhanced the understanding, tolerance, and respect for cultural and religious diversity among the project participants and beneficiaries in the six countries. The activities can be categorised into four broad areas: edutainment and performance arts, peer education and capacity enhancement, community peacebuilding, and shaping of public discourse.