Dhikr is a common self-care practice for many Syrian refugees, yet has been barely studied as a form of stress and PTSD relief. Yet, the repetition of prayers, and at times movements, shares many characteristics with other studied practices, including for potential effect on intra-group synchrony.
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.