This paper explores the extent to which development, in its frames of reference, policy and practice, is sensitive and responsive to religious inequalities. The research enquiry is guided by the question ‘to what extent does international development thinking, and policy-making engage with freedom of religion or belief?’
The relevance of exploring the nexus between freedom of religion or belief and development is particularly significant in view of the increasing visibility of multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental action aimed towards advancing freedom of religion or belief through development or humanitarian aid. Western development thinking, policy and practice has always struggled with how to engage with religion. In this critical enquiry, we interrogate how far international development has become religion-aware, where conceptual strides have been made in engendering religion in development, and whether this has incorporated questions of freedom of religion or belief. In order to support freedom of religion or belief and have a full understanding of religious inequalities within international development, we need a distinct agenda that goes beyond ‘add religion and stir’.
About the Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID)
This paper was produced as part of the CREID Working Paper series. CREID provides research evidence and practical programmes which aim to tackle poverty, hardship and exclusion resulting from discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief. Find out more about the CREID programme and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.