Religion as the ‘engine of change’ for greater peace and equality through Joint Initiative for strategic religious action – (JISRA)

Nairobi, 3 May 2021 (F2A) – Freedom of religion and belief (FoRB) is a human right protected under the Universal Declaration of Human rights, Internal Covenant on Civil and Political Rights among other instruments. Over the years many countries have continued to recognise this right although it has been faced by a myriad of challenges causing inter faith and intra faith tensions. As a human right, FoRB, can be leveraged to address socio-economic and political challenges in communities and enhance the realization of other rights.

JISRA a five-year interfaith programme, will start in May 2021, in seven countries namely, Kenya, Uganda, Mali, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Iraq and Nigeria with the support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

JISRA will focus on emphasizing FoRB through:

  1. Revitalizing the intersectionality between FoRB and women’s rights and youth rights in order to advance each of these rights, increasing the participation of both youth and women.
  2. Combat exclusion based on gender and/or age.
  3. Underscore the intersectionality between FoRB and peacebuilding in international policies.
  4. Promote both the consideration of religious issues and the voices of religious actors in the international peace and security sphere.

JISRA will support faith-based communities in their social role and their potential to contribute to the promotion of FoRB and the fight against (religious) violence and discrimination. This will be done by entering interfaith coalitions, and thereby showing that different religious traditions can come together in their vision of a better and more just society.

At the end of five years, JISRA will have contributed to having resilient and inclusive communities in which religious actors are sustainable advocates of FoRB and interfaith peace. This will be achieved by having the following;

  1. Religious actors and CSOs have increased representation in policy-making processes, including in inclusive and legitimate inter-, intra- and extra-religious platforms, that advance FoRB and hold duty-bearers to account.
  2. Women and youth have increased representation in decision-making processes at the community, local, national and international level that advance FoRB

The press release can be downloaded here:


Kenyan, Indonesian and Dutch youth from different faith backgrounds take part in an exchange organized by Mensen met een Missie.

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