The population in some of the world’s most destructive and fragile areas are overwhelmingly young. Some of these areas – Kashmir and the Palestinian occupied territories as two examples – have religious conflict ingrained in their history and everyday life psyche. Here are a few figures for you to think about:
1. 75% of India’s one billion plus are not yet 25.
2. 85% of the people who live in the Palestinian occupied territories are under 35.
3. 66% of the people of Iran are under the age of 33.
4. 19.5 is the current median age in Iraq.
It’s frightening to think that inter-faith relations could get worse in a place like the Gaza Strip. But how will the Palestinian youth perceive Israelis in the future? What will they teach their children about Israel? I suggest reading the book below for some key recommendations on how to prepare the youth for a peaceful and prosperous future in places of religious conflict.
Source: Patel, Eboo. Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. Beacon Press: Boston, 2007.