Is Religion a Barrier to Peace? Religious Influence on Violent Intrastate Conflict Termination

Mora Deitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In recent years, a burgeoning literature has emerged on the relationship between religion and conflict. Contradictory theories address the dynamics and termination of religious violent conflicts. Some studies focus on the destructive role of religion, arguing that religious conflicts are longer, more violent, and intractable. Others argue that religion has an ambivalent role, both destructive and constructive, and recognize religion as a force for peacebuilding. This study focuses on the relationship between religion and conflict termination by examining termination outcomes, based on the length and the level of violence, as well as incidents of reoccurrence. The study quantitatively examines 118 domestic conflicts between 1990 and 2014, utilizing the Political Instability Task Force and Religion and State datasets. The findings suggest that religious conflicts are likely to last longer than non-religious ones. However, the study reveals that religion has no strong significant influence on conflict termination as well as on the reoccurrence of conflicts and the violence level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1454-1470
Number of pages17
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by The Israeli Scholarship Education Foundation (ISEF) for excellence in academic and social leadership.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis.


  • Religion
  • conflict duration
  • conflict reoccurrence
  • conflict termination
  • violent intrastate conflicts


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