"Faith-based approach to nation-building in Palestine" : an analysis of the work of the Norwegian Church Aid in the Middle East (2011-2015) with the aim of contributing to nation-building through faith communities
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The object of this thesis was to see if and how faith-based organizations could contribute to Palestinian nation-building. For this study, I have made an in-depth analysis on the work of the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and its partner-organizations in Israel and Palestine, with the following research question as a guide: How can strengthening Palestinian churches and faith-based organisations and their institutions contribute towards Palestinian nation-building? By exploring the work of the NCA the study finds that rights-based approach1 to development is an integrated part of the NCA’s strategies and programs. The theories on nation-building support the NCA’s nation-building-strategies. The study reveals that faith-based organizations can have implications for nation-building in the Palestinian society. The study indicates that the NCA’s support to the civil society and institutions in Palestine is the best way for faith-based organizations to influence Palestinian nation-building. The study explores how faith-based organizations can be part of peacebuilding in Palestine. And it reveals that faith-based organizations only have implications on the civil society in peacebuilding, and faith-based organizations’ approach to peacebuilding involves advocacy and protection of human rights. Additionally, the study indicates that the NCA’s contribution to nation-building are relevant for peacebuilding; a stable Palestinian state is important for successful peacebuilding.