Topic 4 Resilience in the face of violence

Resilience is usually defined as the ability that the individual has to overcome difficult situations (Boniwell & Tunariu, 2019). However, the focus also needs to be shifted from the individual only and be given to the community and different societal aspects. Therefore, we should move to the concept of community resilience (Kirmayer et al., 2009).

Community resilience has two dimensions:

  • How a person can move on from difficult situations with the interplay and influence of the social and community context (Kirmayer et al., 2009).
  • How communities as a whole employ resilience in the face of adversities, disasters and crises (Kirmayer et al., 2009).

How can community resilience be implemented in religious communities in order to overcome negative circumstances such as threat, violence and attacks?

Evidence suggests that the leaders of these communities can have a significant impact in increasing resilience in the face of violence by (Ahmed et al., 2021):

Acting like mediators for communication and building bridges with other communities

Collaborations of community leaders with humanitarian and civil society organisations to strengthen religious literacy within the communities

Helping in keeping their community members united

Collaborations with religious specialists (clergy, scholars) as well as religious institutions on openly discussing potential negative circumstances and the importance of interreligious respect

Emergency response

Psychosocial support

Build cross-border networks that ease integration in contexts of displacement