Given the importance of religion, I feel it is the most underutilized tool in the process of development of a nation. It can be extremely powerful if channeled in the right direction. The trajectories of development as a process and religion have undergone numerous changes in the wake of events like globalization, modernization and decolonization (K Marshall, 31). However, both aim for the ultimate good of the world. Development leads to alleviation of poverty leading to better quality of lives. Religion seeks to encourage people to be on the good path with salvation as the ultimate goal in most cases. Thus there are a number of potential synergies between religion and development.
Religion has great inherent potential to influence large groups of people in a short amount of time. People would be more receptive to ideas such as improving the status of women, allowing girls to go to school and work if their religion asks them to practice it. Most religious people follow particular rituals only becau...
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...ealthy interaction between the two is necessary to achieve tangible development goals. The real test is to find a way to alleviate the aspects of religion that impinge on the basic rights of people.
Religion is a very sensitive subject which can either build strong relations between communities or two countries or destroy existing relations. Thus religion can be liberating or restraining. If used prudently in the development process, it can be an instrument in achieving goals like access to health-care, education, health and sanitation and equality. International organizations and development practitioners need to find effective ways of incorporating religion and faith based organizations into their development plans and objectives. Efforts should be taken to fuse secularity and religion based approaches to development in the most optimum and respectful manner.
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