Press Release No: 06/21
6 May 2021
The Conference of European Churches (CEC), together with the European Jewish Congress’ (EJC) Security and Crisis Centre (SACC), Faith Matters and the European Buddhist Union, has received a €3 million grant from the European Commission to assist in the protection of places of worship in Europe.
The outcome of this interfaith partnership, representing Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities across Europe, is called Safer and Stronger Communities in Europe (SASCE).
It is the first time that four European religious organisations will be working together on a European Commission funded common project to enhance security.
“We are pleased to be part of this important initiative,” said CEC general secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen. “Together with other faith partners, we hope to contribute our experience and expertise in the area of safeguarding holy sites and places of worship in Europe.”
“This is an important piece of work keeping in mind the attacks on religious sites over the last decades. The issue is of deep concern to our Member Churches,” he added.
The SASCE project aims to increase security in and around places of worship, as well as within and between communities. The four organisations will develop tools to strengthen security awareness and crisis management. The tools will be disseminated by a network of coordinators through trainings and briefings for religious communities, as well as through wider communication campaigns.
The project will also strengthen trust and cooperation between civil society and national authorities, facilitating formalised channels of communication between community leadership and public enforcement authorities.
CEC’s Thematic Group on Human Rights will play a pivotal role in implementing the project led by CEC Executive Secretary Dr Elizabeta Kitanovic. Continuing with CEC’s previous work on the topic, a number of related CEC activities will add to the project, such as an upcoming publication on the protection of holy sites and worship places, which will form the thematic background for CEC’s next 2021 Summer School on Human Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief and Security.
The project is awarded by the European Commission’s Internal Security Fund – Police (ISF-P) mechanism, and will run from year 2021 to 2023.
For more information or an interview, please contact:
Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 486 75 82 36
You Tube: Conference of European Churches – YouTube
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