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Home >Theology of Peace and War > Wesleyan Quadrilateral > Experience: Alternatives to War > Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation

Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation

Rather than allow war and armed rebellion to run on and on with loss of many lives, heavy destruction of cities, and environmental harm, methods are available for bringing warring parties together and ending armed conflict. Once conflict ends, there is need for reconciliation and renewal. Considerable experience has developed during the past twenty-five years on how this can be accomplished.

Truth and Reconciliation Commissions
Church-related Conflict Resolution

Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

During the past twenty-five years a number of countries emerging from authoritarian rule and civil war have established truth and reconciliation commissions under various names. The purpose is to discover past wrongdoing with the hope that revealing the truth will lead to healing and reconciliation.


In Chile the military rule of Augusto Pinochet (September 1973 to March 1990) was known for its gross human rights abuses. To investigate the situation the successor government appointed an eight-member National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation to investigate the situation. In 1991 this body issued a report that documented over 3,000 killings and disappearances. In 2004 a new National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture investigated the same period of the Pinochet dictatorship and identified 400,000 victims of torture. As a result, the state provided modest lifelong monetary compensation for the victims.

South Africa

Following the end of apartheid in South Africa the government of Nelson Mandela set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a court-like body. “Anybody who felt they had been a victim of violence could come forward and be heard. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from prosecution. The hearings were national and international news and many sessions were televised on national television. The TRC was a crucial component of transition to full and free democracy South Africa and despite some flaws, is generally regarded as very successful.” Source: Wikipedia article


Other states with truth and reconciliation commissions, under various names, include:
1) Argentina
2) El Salvador
3) Fiji
4) Guatemala
5) Morocco
6) Panama
7) Peru
8) Sierra Leone
9) Timor-Leste (East Timor)

Church-related Conflict Resolution

In many parts of the globe religious leaders and church organizations have taken initiative for conflict resolution and starting the process of reconciliation. We offer some of these stories here. We also invite others to share their experience.

Kitenge, Congo
Others to be added

In English       

Historique sur le Role Joue par L’eglise Methodiste Unie
dans la Reconciliation de Conflits dans le District de Kitenge
Par Rev. Mujinga Mwamba Kora,
Surintendant de District de Kitenge


I. Historique

Tout à commencer en 1998 à Kitenge, Congo chef lieu du district ecclésiastique de Kitenge, là où j’étais affecté comme pasteur afin de commencer la deuxième paroisse, alors qu’il y a eu plus de 20 ans ce village n’avait qu’une seule paroisse, avec mon affectation et sous l’initiative du Surintendant de District le Rév. KABONGO ILUNGA, il a été proposé que nous commençâmes la deuxième paroisse nommée "Mont Carmel."

Un mois après mon arrivé, Kabalo tomba dans les mains de rebelles pendant la guerre d’agression "Rwanda/ RDC." Dispersion à Kitenge, je suis resté seul. Tout le monde s’était enfui ne sachant que faire. Etant pasteur, je ne pouvais pas croiser les bras, je me suis fait Aumônier de militaires presque 16000 militaires qui étaient regroupés à Kitenge. Mon travail d’aumonerie a commencé de novembre 1998 à Janvier 1999.

Lire advantage....

History of the Role Played by the United Methodist Church
in the Reconciliation of Conflicts in the Kitenge District, Congo

by Rev. Mujinga Muamba Kora,
Superintendent of Kitenge District


Everything began in 1998 in Kitenge, Congo, headquarters of the ecclesiastic district of Kitenge, where I was assigned as pastor in order to form a second parish. Although this village had had only one parish for more than 20 years, at the suggestion of the District Superintendent, Rev. Kabonga Ilunga, it was proposed that, with my assignment there, we start a second parish, to be named "Mount Carmel."

A month after my arrival, Kabalo fell into the hands of the rebels during the Rwanda/Congo war of aggression. With the dispersal of everyone in Kitenge, I was left alone. Everyone had fled, not knowing what else to do. Being a pastor, I couldn't stand around doing nothing. I got myself assigned as Chaplain for the almost 16,000 soldiers who were regrouped in Kitenge. My work as a chaplain lasted from November 1998 to January 1999.

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