Religious Mediation In Other Countries
The famous Ayodhya case was one of its kind where Indian courts suggested the parties involved in a religious dispute, both belonging to separate religions, to opt for mediation as an amicable resolution method. Previously there have been several cases to referred to the same, but this one was special owing to the category of the dispute involved. This might be the first religious case to go through mediation in India, but the same scenario is not with other countries. Countries like Italy, the USA, and Nigeria have a pre-existing defined mechanism for the same.
The first-ever recorded case of mediation in Italy dates back to 1226, a dispute between the Roman Empire and the Lombard League. It was papal mediation, where the pope acts as the third party resolving the dispute. However, with time the method of Papal mediation faded away owing to its arbitrary nature as the Pope was the only figure of authority in them. Currently, mediations in Italy happen in consonance with the guidelines of the European Union. According to these guidelines, there exist different tribunals dealing with these faith-based mediations.
However, the situation is different in the neighboring country, the Vatican City, where Papal mediation still practiced as Pope there is regarded as the ultimate connection between mankind and god.
With the help of the first amendment, the USA has always followed the principle of maintaining the separation between the state and the church. Because of this, all the religious disputes are dealt with by their respective religious law, and the government is not authorized to formulate laws concerning any religion. Refusal to intervene in religious matters by the US courts has led to the establishment of religious tribunals which function intending to mediate the religious disputes. They have been awarded full autonomy to solve religious disputes arising and often their judgments are given weightage in court orders.
Nigeria was among those few countries which adopted mediation for all kind of disputes before colonization. Though post-colonization, court system was established here, it still resorted to using mediation as a tool to resolve the maximum number of cases pertaining to civil and religious disputes. A separate organization such as the Christian Association of Nigeria, have been established to handle cases of religious mediation.
Thus, there stands no doubt that mediation in religious disputes is practiced in countries across the world. And as for India, we have started incorporating the same but still, there is a need for a more structured and organized mechanism to deal with these kinds of disputes.