Rituals and spirituality were central in what became known as the Standing Rock movement. From dawn to dusk, the activists and their supporters took part in prayers. Constant rituals as well the practice of compassion played an important role as a core stabilizing force for the movement.
At a crucial point of the peace process in Sri Lanka, in 2006-2007, Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims gathered to meditate and practice compassion. Since then, inter-faith meditations have regularly been organized to support a trust challenged by extremist leaders igniting inter-religious tensions.
At the end of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war, purification and reintegration ceremonies organized at the local level (at times in connection with Christian or Muslim traditions) have played a crucial role in supporting community peacebuilding, showing the power of indigenous spiritual processes.
The Fundación para la Reconciliación has been working to create a training that supports individuals – both perpetrators and victims – and their communities in “forgiveness.” Rituals are a very important part of the process, to create and maintain a safe space, and support empathy and compassion.