Pope calls on world to defend modern Christian martyrs

Pope Francis called upon the world to help defend and stop violence against Christians. 

The religionization of politics and the politicization of religion, especially in the current environment on the global war on terror, means that increasingly religion plays a role in diplomacy both as an opportunity for engagement and as a motivation inspiring actors.

But the country is also mobilizing soft power. The government sponsored a conference this week where Islamic and Christian leaders discussed promoting religious tolerance. Earlier this month, Cameroon announced $8 million in grants for young people who start businesses in the north, the country's poorest region and the one where most Muslims live.

No efforts are more notable than the Kingdom of Morocco, which has erected a formidable “soft-power” strategy against Islamic radicalism over the past decade. That strategy is grounded in religious legitimacy.

The conference that will focus on certain questions - such as "How can we establish a culture of understanding and peace between different religions and cultures?" - aims to promote Turkey academically as well as addressing and correcting wrong perceptions about Turkey in the world.

The “soft power” of religious opinion makers is an important factor.  In fact, some have argued as Amb. Charles Freeman (USFS, ret.) has that “only a coalition with a strong Muslim identity can hope to contain” the terrorists.

 Instead of using this opportunity with the soft power of our minds and the underlying Islamic cause, we have remained stuck in archaic Turkish nationalism.

Think open dialogue and reconciliation and China isn’t usually the first country that comes to mind. But in 2013 China shifted its principle of “non-interference in other countries” to one of active conflict resolution in some of the world’s most intractable contexts: Israel-Palestine, Myanmar, and Afghanistan. (...) But while it may be a welcome foray, its success will be muted at best unless China can overcome one major blind spot: religion.