Religiously framed conflict

In the Philippines and Cameroon, religiously framed conflict, radicalisation, and prejudice towards ‘the other’ remain pervasive. At the local level, communities deal with mistrust and inequality. And although legally the Freedom of Religion or Belief is guaranteed in both countries, in reality the right continues to be neglected, or even suppressed, by state and non-state actors (such as Boko Haram and Abu Sayyaf). To aggravate this, policies and practices by formal authorities are in place that further feed this environment.

Our strategy

  • Strengthening social relations and bridging identity-based divides between groups
  • Raising awareness about religious (in)tolerance and providing communities with tools to de-construct prejudices and discrimination
  • Enhancing collaboration between communities and the security- and policy sector to ensure freedom of religion and belief is central to policies and practices.

What do we do to address the problem

The FoRB III programme enhances freedom of religion and belief in North Cameroon and Mindanao, Philippines. Although the Freedom of Religion or Belief is a legal right in both countries, state and non-state actors prevent people in the Philippines and Cameroon from enjoying and exercising these rights. In both countries religiously framed conflict, radicalisation, and prejudice towards ‘the other’ remain pervasive.

Luckily, in both contexts there are positive forces and opportunities for change – community initiatives and structures, informal and formal authorities, chances for policy change, etc. – and the FoRB III programme is building on these opportunities.

Our strategy is backed up by investing in the capacities, networks and knowledge of the implementing partners as well as the consortiumparters, Mensen met een Missie and Human Security Collective.

In Cameroon, together with our local partner organisations DMJ, CEPCA, CSIC and CDJP Maroua-Mokolo we focus on facilitating Local Interreligious Peace Committees (CLIPs) in communities and the dialogue platform OSC-FDS between civil society organisations and defence and security forces.

In the Philippines, TRIPOD, MPPM and MTWRC organise workshops on community resilience and countering violent extremism, as well as setting up platforms in communities to minimise blacklisting and discrimination.

The programme started in 2020 with support of the Dutch Human Rights Fund for a period of 4 years, until December 2023.