2017 Award Recipients: Congratulations to Noah Hanft, President and CEO of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, New York

Basil Ugorji and Noah Hanft

Congratulations to Noah Hanft, President and CEO of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, New York, for receiving the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation’s Honorary Award in 2017!

The award was presented to Noah Hanft by Basil Ugorji, President and CEO of International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation, in recognition of his outstanding contributions of major significance to international conflict prevention and resolution.

The award ceremony took place on November 2, 2017 during the closing ceremony of the 4th Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding held at the Community Church of New York’s Assembly Hall and Hall of Worship in New York City.


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Religions in Igboland: Diversification, Relevance and Belonging

Religion is one of the socioeconomic phenomena with undeniable impacts on humanity anywhere in the world. As sacrosanct as it seems, religion is not only important to the understanding of the existence of any indigenous population but also has policy relevance in the interethnic and developmental contexts. Historical and ethnographic evidence on different manifestations and nomenclatures of the phenomenon of religion abound. The Igbo nation in Southern Nigeria, on both sides of the Niger River, is one of the largest black entrepreneurial cultural groups in Africa, with unmistakable religious fervour that implicates sustainable development and interethnic interactions within its traditional borders. But the religious landscape of Igboland is constantly changing. Until 1840, the dominant religion(s) of the Igbo was indigenous or traditional. Less than two decades later, when Christian missionary activity commenced in the area, a new force was unleashed that would eventually reconfigure the indigenous religious landscape of the area. Christianity grew to dwarf the dominance of the latter. Before the centenary of Christianity in Igboland, Islam and other less hegemonic faiths arose to compete against indigenous Igbo religions and Christianity. This paper tracks the religious diversification and its functional relevance to harmonious development in Igboland. It draws its data from published works, interviews, and artefacts. It argues that as new religions emerge, the Igbo religious landscape will continue to diversify and/or adapt, either for inclusivity or exclusivity among the existing and emerging religions, for the survival of the Igbo.