Religion, conflict and peacebuilding in Africa: the role of the church in the peacebuilding process in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2001-2006.
Oladosu, Steve Tai.
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This study examines the roles of the Church and its models of peace effort in the DRC from 2001 to 2016. The main objective is to identify and analyze the impact of the role of the church on the conflict; to evaluate the success of the Church in Peacebuilding from 2001-2016; to examine the key challenges and opportunities facing the Churches in its intervention, and; to identify how the church could maximize its peacebuilding potential in the DRC. Thus, the following questions were set forth to guide the research: 1) what role has the church played in DRC conflict from 2001 to 2016? 2) What successes has the church achieved? 3) What obstacles has the Church faced in its peace efforts? 4) How can the church deal with these obstacles to maximize its potential of achieving a sustainable peace in the DRC? Therefore, the qualitative approach is found appropriate for these research questions, because it grants valuable understanding of the issues through a careful examination of historical data. So, the non-empirical study makes use of secondary sources of data collection.Also, John Paul Lederach’s “peacebuilding pyramid” is opted for as the conceptual framework. The framework focus on reconciliation and on reconstruction of broken down relationships: a process that recognizes that conflicts are essentially types of relationships and prioritizes on addressing its psychological components. Therefore, it was used to address such questions as, should peace be built from the top down, or from the bottom up? What parts should the various actors play? Are there spaces for the church at all the three levels? However, the key study finding was that the Church in the DRC is large, strong, and significant. With these, and its predictable solidarity with the grassroots populace, have the capacity to transform conflict situation in the DRC. The study also reveals that the church in the DRC are engaged in a kind of reactive approach to peace work which focuses on the immediate conflict, with no long-term peace process to address the root cause, and to deal with those policies and structures that sustains conflicts. The researcher thus maintains that the Church in the DRC needs a review of their models of engagement in conflict transformation and peacebuilding.