Religious Cultural Heritage to Advance the Safeguard and Protection of Religious Spaces, Rituals and Practices

Preventing Violence | June 2023

From June 19-23, the Peacemakers Network had an opportunity to join the sixth Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion (EuARe) that took place at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, UK. The conference offered a platform for researchers and scholars to meet, exchange ideas, collaborate, and develop further research and collaboration of religion and social, cultural, and political issues.

During the conference, the Peacemakers Network joined a panel focused on Religious Cultural Heritage in Europe and the Role of Interreligious Dialogue, where Project Coordinator of the SOAR Project Jason Yabal, presented the project with its initiative to strengthen the security and resilience of at-risk religious sites and communities and lessons learned during the project implementation. Imam Yahya Pallavicini and Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister from the Muslim Jewish Leadership Council (MJLC) joined Yabal on the panel and further expressed the importance to establish safety measures for places of worship for community wellness.

In addition to the first panel, Network member KAICIID had also put together a second panel titled Religion, Youth and Countering Hate Speech in Europe: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. This panel focused on the role of religious and youth actors in contributing to countering hate speech in Europe from dfferent academic and research perspectives. Special attention was given to showcasing specific case studies from religious communities as well as youth organizations to counteract hate speech via media, cultural, interfaith and interreligious initiatives. Moderating this panel was Aleksandra Djuric Milovanovic from KAICIID with speakers Peter Petkoff from Brunel Law School, Maria Lucia Uribe Torres from Arigatou International, Kishan Manocha from ODHIR/OSCE, and Patrice Brodeur from the University of Montreal and KAICIID.

About the SOAR Project

Strengthening the security and resilience of at-risk religious sites and communities (SOAR) project contributes to advancing the protection and safeguarding of places for worship, with a focus on communities of worship within the European Union (EU). The SOAR project seeks to increase the awareness of, and capacity to respond to physical and human security threats to places of worship.

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