Humanitarianism and Religious Inequalities: Addressing a Blind Spot
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Religious identity is critically important to consider in assessing patterns of displacement and the dynamics of conflict and peace-building, as well as programmatic and policy responses to humanitarian crises. Conflicts are frequently driven by discrimination and generate massive numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) as they flee from persecution and violence, whilst individuals or groups may be targeted for their identity or face insecurity during community activities. As a result, the relationship between diversity, inclusivity, and interdependence is key to developing approaches that address intersecting forms of insecurity experienced by religious minorities. This paper reviews current thinking and policy directions in understanding religious inequalities in humanitarian contexts and asks the following questions: 1) What are the implications of programming that is blind to religious inequalities? 2) How can humanitarian actors incorporate sensitivity to religious difference and persecution in their programming, and what are the challenges of doing so?