Religion and Development

Religion is central in people’s lives, communities and societies. More than 75 % of the world’s population identifies with religious beliefs or convictions. A study from the World Bank (Voices of the poor, 2000) shows that religious organizations enjoy a higher credibility than other organizations amongst the world’s poorest.

Yet, religion is a neglected factor in Danish development cooperation. There is simply a lack of knowledge on the significance of religion for development cooperation to work with poverty reduction and a right based approach in societies where religion plays an important role.

That is why a number of Danish faith based organizations (ADRA Denmark, DanChurchAid, Danmission, Caritas Denmark, the Danish Mission Council and Danish Mission Council Development Department) together with the Danish Institute for Human Rights - with support from Global Focus – have initiated a series of seminars that covers the subject in different manners.

The seminars are directed towards employees in Danish NGOs, especially management and program and project officers that work with international development. The aim is through capacity building to create an understanding of religion’s role and to strengthen Danish NGOs in their capability to analyze and navigate in different contexts where religion plays a role in the development cooperation.