Religion and development

German government supports joint action for more peace and development

Photo collage of the world religions

All over the world, both government institutions and faith communities are actively working to realise development goals. Closer collaboration between these players would be a major step forward in the direction of peace and sustainable development.

In order to launch a fundamental debate on global values, religion and development, German Development Minister Gerd Müller set up a task force in spring 2014 on values, religion and development. The purpose of the task force is to combine the expertise from various units in the German Development Ministry more closely, to better harmonise interventions that are related to this set of issues and combine them into a new overall approach, and to develop new strategies.

The task force's work is guided by the following questions among others:

  • What is the potential of religion for global sustainable development, and how can that potential be tapped?
  • How can government development institutions and faith communities enhance their cooperation, and what are the limitations of such cooperation?
  • How can the BMZ join forces with faith communities to advocate global responsibility and sustainability?

The task force meets every two months. It invites outside guests to some of its meetings to provide input.

Cooperation with international partners

Federal Minister Gerd Müller and the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, in talks with leading representatives of the main religions and of faith-based de­vel­op­ment organisations.

The BMZ is not limited to cooperation with faith communities in its work on religion and development. It also liaises with international development organisations and other donor nations. Its long-term goal is to set up a like-minded group in order to learn from one another and explore potential areas for cooperation.

The World Bank is one important partner for Germany. In the late 1990s, the World Bank began to address the issue of values and faith in development cooperation. Under President James Wolfensohn, an intensive dialogue with faith leaders and with the World Council of Churches was launched. The Bank's current President, Jim Yong Kim, is continuing these efforts. He considers faith communities important partners when it comes to mobilising more people for global goals such as eradicating poverty or distributive justice.

Germany can benefit from the experience of the World Bank. In order to make headway on this topic internationally, a dialogue with German Development Minister Müller, World Bank President Kim and German faith leaders among the participants was held in Berlin in May 2014.

Cooperation with civil society

Zukunftscharta EINEWELT – Unsere VerantwortungIn April 2014, the BMZ invited all German citizens to make contributions to a Charter for the Future entitled "ONE WORLD – Our Responsibility". One thematic forum of the drafting meetings for the Charter focused on the political and cultural dimension of sustainability. Participants in that forum discussed issues relating to good governance, democracy and human rights, and also the role of religion.

The results of the thematic forums were included in an online dialogue forum where the discussion continued. The Charter was presented to the public on 24 November 2014.

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Actor Tom Wlaschiha finds out from members of religious communities what their values are and presents projects where they are engaging in supporting peace and sustainable development.

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