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November 23, 2021 Recording – Religious Leader Engagement – An Emerging Contribution to Peacebuilding

November 23, 2021 @ 3:00 pm 4:30 pm


  • Lieutenant-General The Honorable Roméo A. Dallaire (retd)
  • Dr. Steve Moore
  • Brigadier General Guy Belisle


  • Dr. Sylvie Lemieux



Dr. Moore will speak to the origins of Religious Leader Engagement, inclusive of both Bosnian and Afghan operational environments (OEs). Chaplains were drawn to ministries of conciliation where building relationships and establishing trust with local/regional religious leaders led to enhanced communication and understanding within local populations. Brief overviews of operational anecdotes will demonstrate how chaplains aided Command and their Whole-of-Government partners alike. On completion of his doctoral studies, Moore joined the Concept Cell of what is now the Canadian Army Land Warfare Centre where the concept of RLE emerged—an operational adaptation to the Public Space (JIMP) of local populations in OEs and critical contribution to the Comprehensive Approach. Later endorsed by the Army Capabilities Development Board as a chaplain operational capability, padres now advise Command on the religious terrain (Religious Area Assessment) of an Area of Operation and, security permitting and under the Commander’s direction, engage local religious leaders in OEs at home and abroad.

Brigadier General Guy Belisle will speak of RLE and Religious Area Assessment (RAA) in the context of Canadian Armed Forces current operations. He will highlight the successful application of the respective capabilities within training systems and operations, both expeditionary and domestic. He will address the challenges that have been encountered with not only socializing the concepts of RLE/RAA, but also about the unique demand placed upon chaplains with reference to time and perception. He will conclude on the opportunities that exist for developing the capabilities and how they may be used in the chaplain service of the future.

General Roméo Dallaire comes to Religious Leader Engagement with an appreciation of the value-added of such an operational capability. The Royal Canadian Chaplain Service and the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security are presently developing collective training for chaplains, expanding their capacities to aid in the prevention and reintegration of child soldiers in local communities within operational environments. In his role of Commissioner with the Principles for Peace Initiative, General Dallaire will speak to the potential for RLE to assist in the reframing of present approaches to resolving conflict and establishing a sustainable peace, achievements that have remained elusive to the international community. Religious leaders of moderate voice within local populations offer an available means of better comprehending the historical, deep-rooted grievances indicative of intractable conflict with a view to ensure sustainable stabilization and security. Deemed as trusted community figures, their engagement in, what are often, nascent peace processes, serves to enhance ‘local ownership’, an essential component to the receptivity of other associated endeavours.

Speaker Bio:

Lieutenant-General The Honorable Roméo A. Dallaire (retd)

General Roméo Dallaire is founder of the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace, and Security, a global partnership with the mission to end the recruitment and use of children in conflict and violence. A celebrated advocate for human rights, General Dallaire is also a respected author, government and UN advisor, and former Canadian Senator. Throughout his distinguished military career, General Dallaire served most notably as Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. He continues to work tirelessly to bring national and international attention to situations too-often ignored, whether the prevention of mass atrocities, the struggle that he and many other military veterans face with post-traumatic stress disorder, or the recruitment and use of children as weapons of war.

S.K. (Steve) Moore, PhD a Padre in the Canadian Armed Forces for 22 years, with operational tours to Bosnia during the war (92-93), Haiti (97-98) and doctoral research in Kandahar, Afghanistan (2006). His post-doctoral work led to the chaplain operational capability, Religious Leader Engagement (RLE), now being integrated into military training. He has advanced RLE within NATO and the Commonwealth, increasingly assimilating a whole-of-government application—concepts now being adapted to the civilian sector. A member of the Editorial Board of the Canadian Army Journal, his publications include Military Chaplains as Agents of Peace: Religious Leader Engagement in Conflict and Post-conflict Environments (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013) and Religious Leader Engagement as an Aspect of Irregular Warfare: the dénouement of a chaplain operational capability (CANSOFCOM, 2020).

Brigadier-General Guy Bélisle, Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces, is one of those rare individuals in uniform, having served as an Infantry officer prior to rebadging as a Roman Catholic Pastoral Associate and chaplain. His knowledge and experience as a Combat Arms Officer accounts for much of his effectiveness as a padre with Command and service members alike. Having served with the Royal 22e Régiment for 12 years, he deployed to Bosnia during the war (1992) and as a Padre with the troops both to Haiti, following the 2010 earthquake, and to Afghanistan a year later (2011). Padre Bélisle has held a series of senior positions within the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service prior to being promoted and appointed Chaplain General in June 2021. It is due to his keen grasp of the operational environment that he promotes Religious Leader Engagement, a chaplain operational capability now employed both domestically and internationally.

Dr. Sylvie Lemieux is a retired Lieutenant-Colonel Army Engineer and formerly an executive with the Public Service of Canada who, on two occasions, represented the Green Party of Canada (2008 and 2011). She is a graduate in Civil Engineering from Polytechnique, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Globalization and International Development as well as a Doctorate in Conflict Studies from Saint-Paul University. She is active as a member of peace and foreign policies NGOs and is presently the co-chair of CNANW.


November 23, 2021
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
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