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Religion and development

Combining forces for greater impact

Novices in a monastery in Myanmar

Religion has a strong influence on political and social life. It influences many people's view of the world, their lifestyles and their civic engagement. Religious beliefs can bring people together or cause division. Religion can foster or hold back social progress. It can promote peace, or hinder it. In international politics, religion can help policymakers in reviewing current value systems and focusing their future actions on supporting sustainability.

Faith communities create huge networks and are able to reach people in places where government institutions are unable to go. Similarly, development cooperation projects being implemented in partner countries are more effective if they take into account the impact that local religious beliefs may have.

The German government has been working with the German Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in development cooperation projects for more than fifty years. The BMZ now wants to go beyond this partnership and launch a fundamental international discussion on shared global values, religion and development.

BMZ glossary

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