Doors to Diplomacy Participants

Saint Louis University Laboratory High School (2012 Doors to Diplomacy Project ID 7268)
Philippines, Benguet, Baguio City
Official Status: Final Project: Ready for Judging
Category: 2. Promotion of Peace and Democracy: Social Issues

We estimate 3 student(s) from 15 to 15 will work on this entry.

Description of Our Team: "Jelsea A. Vallerry C. Hazel E."

Project Description: "For our project we will be focusing on two well-known religions, namely Christianity and Islam. These days, if we will go on the net and search for a list of the most popular religions in the world, it is very likely that Christianity and Islam will be someplace in the Top 3. These two religions have the most followers, and for some, it is not surprising that this many people can start fights with each other over a few differences in their beliefs.

How did the disagreements start? While the religions are without a doubt monotheistic and have a few other similarities such as originating from the same place (i.e. Middle East), there are also some major theological differences. An example is that Muslims deny that God can be divided to the Holy Trinity, and actually consider the division of God’s Oneness as a sin. For Christians, denying God’s unity or oneness is heretical. Unfortunately, the Christian’s articulation of the Trinity holds in tension the paradox of both the unity and Trinitarian diversity of God as one God who is three Persons.

Just as the reason for conflict between the two groups is not only limited to the differences in their beliefs, it also touches on the field of politics, from the Crusades of the 11th – 12th centuries, to the bloody repressions and open armed conflicts happening today. Here in the Philippines, a gap between the Christians and Muslims is present. Before the Spaniards colonized the country centuries ago, the Philippines was mostly a Muslim area. But because the Spanish had managed to convert the majority of the Philippines (with the exception of Mindanao), making it at present the only predominantly Catholic country in Southeast Asia, the once proud Muslim or Moro Nation has now been reduced to the status of a national minority.

Our project aims to answer two main questions. One, is there really a conflict? We believe that if there is really a conflict, it does not necessarily mean that all of the said religions’ followers are at fault. Two, is there a point to the conflict? Is it really that important for a group to prove to another that they are more superior?

In a world where even religion itself manages to be the cause of fallouts and rifts between two or more parties, we all must work together towards peace. Our group believes that the first step to achieving peace is through understanding one another and seeking common ground. There may be organizations that help promote peace and proper relationships between these two religions, but unfortunately they may not be enough.

As Islam and Christianity are two of the most famous organized religions in the world, it can only mean that the two have a lot of followers, all from different countries, with different races and cultures. Diplomacy may then be promoted through the understanding of the two religions. In our group, three people may not seem like much, but we will do our best to be able to inform others about the current situation between Muslims and Christians, and how we could all help in promoting peace between the two through our medium – the Internet. "

Click Here to View Project Narrative