The Conference of European Churches (CEC) participated in a meeting of the EPP (Group of the European People’s Party) Working Group on Intercultural and Religious Dialogue in Strasbourg. The meeting hosted by MEP Jan Olbrycht on 5 July, learnt about the Safer and Stronger Communities in Europe (SASCE) project that aims to ensure protection of religious communities in Europe.
Dr Elizabeta Kitanovic, CEC Executive Secretary for Human Rights and Mr Elie Kagan, Head of Crisis Management at the Security and Crisis Centre (SACC) by the European Jewish Congress (EJC) shared information about the SASCE project that is funded by the European Commission.
The chair of the EPP Working Group on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Jan Olbrycht expressed his interest in the SASCE project. At the meeting it was shared how SASCE works for the protection of all places of worships in Europe. SASCE develops a network of ambassadors throughout faith communities to report hate crimes and relevant incidents. The collection of information and their analysis allows partners and leaders of faith communities to understand the evolution of the threat and take appropriate measures in cooperation with the public authorities.
SASCE provides risk assessment and risk mitigation tools to community leaders. It raises the level of security awareness among leaders, employees, and worshippers. Dedicated content such as brochures, guide, videos, posters have been developed and promoted by SASCE.
The project strengthens cooperation between faith communities and public authorities by producing a dedicated Guide to Law Enforcement and by involving authorities in SASCE trainings.
The project also develops crisis management capabilities to ensure the sustainability of the faith communities in case of crisis.
SASCE project started in April 2021 and has been conducting numerous training events throughout the faith communities, as well as interfaith events.
The brochure Protect my Community and the Guide to Law Enforcement were particularly welcomed by the group, as it offers tools that are available in 14 languages to the religious literacy, as well as for the members of the European Parliament.