Politics: Demographics of religiously volatile areas

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.

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