The Safer and Stronger Communities in Europe (SASCE) project was the focus of an interfaith conference on 23 October at Dharma Mati in Berlin, organised by the European Buddhist Union. CEC collaborates on SASCE, a European Commission-funded project, together with its Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim partners.

Dr Elizabeta Kitanovic, Executive Secretary for Human Rights, shared on the significance of the SASCE project for Christian communities. “CEC’s constituency is very diverse. CEC represents different denominations in about 40 European countries, both in urban and rural environments. Therefore,  the response to the security of worship places is diverse too.”

A major outcome of the SASCE project is the encouragement and support it offers in reporting security threats, risks and challenges whether online or offline, whether made by individuals or communities. “No single incident should be overlooked. If such incidents are not tackled, they simmer into insecurities. This then boils into hate and mistrust, which ruins social cohesion in European communities,” said Kitanovic.

The conference was opened by Ron Eichhorn, president of the European Buddhist Union. He spoke about the experiences of crisis management and security measures for Buddhist communities in Europe. “It has been proved that the interfaith component of this project is the most welcomed learning tool related to the security protection of the worship places and religious communities,” he said.

Ophir Revach, CEO of the Security and Crisis Centre (SACC) by EJC presented on security awareness and crisis management, and Fiyaz Mughal and Iman Atta from Faith Matters shared about faith leaders and congregations, and their efforts to enhance safety in faith institutions.

Learn more: Safer and Stronger Communities in Europe