Part of the church’s mandate throughout the ages has been to protect the vulnerable and to foster good relationships between people, regardless of religious or ethnic background. For us this is a consequence of what Jesus says about loving your neighbour – and indeed even your enemy. In general, religious actors have long assumed particular responsibility for contributing to peaceful coexistence and a socially sustainable Europe.
Faith-based organisation key actors
Migration is one of the major issues of our time. Churches and other faith-based organisations are key actors in receiving and assisting refugees in practical terms, helping people find a place in their new country and promoting social cohesion. This was brought to a head in autumn 2015 when Europe faltered, unprepared for the large numbers of people seeking protection.
Today there are nearly 70 million refugees according to the UN, and the refugee situation will continue for a long time to come. The changing face of society that accompanies migration gives rise to a greater need for interfaith dialogue and collaboration.
Focus on practice
The programme A world of neighbours brings together best practices and aims to develop and deepen relationships between religious communities and organisations working for social and spiritual sustainability in both Sweden and Europe as a whole. What is distinctive about the programme is that it starts with a focus on the practical work at grassroots level rather than on interfaith dialogue at leader level.
The goal is peaceful coexistence
Based on the Church of Sweden’s pastoral care (diaconal) work and experiences, documented for example in the report A time of encounters, we deepen and highlight the relationships with other religious communities and organisations working with and for refugees in Europe.
The goal is peaceful coexistence and a humane and socially sustainable Europe that defends and strengthens basic democratic values. An inclusive society – a world of neighbours.
For further information contact:
Anna Hjälm, programme director