As part of the Safer and Stronger Communities in Europe (SASCE) project, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) together with Portuguese Council of Christian Churches (COPIC) conducted a training to promote the safety of religious places and communities in Portugal.
The training held from 7 to 8 March addressed topics such as security threats, risks, and challenges in Portugal. The sessions brought together church leaders and church staff. They were trained on how to improve security awareness about places of worship in Portugal and strengthen ties between the communities, enabling them to act together, preventing security threats.
In addition, experiences of security challenges were presented by experts from the Ministry of Interior and European Commission, linked to the implementation of the EU action plan for the protection of public spaces, as well as places of worship.
The training sessions were conducted by Dr Elizabeta Kitanovic, CEC Executive Secretary for Human Rights, Bishop Jorge Pina Cabral, President of COPIC and Dany Choueka of the Security and Crisis Center of the European Jewish Congress. Maria-Luiza van de Westelaken, Policy Officer at DG HOME, European Commission conducted a session on the protection of public spaces from an EU perspective. Lúri Rodrigues from the Portuguese National Police and Sofia Caseiro from the Higher School of Education and Social Sciences of the Polytechnic of Leiria spoke about security in Portugal.
Supported by the European Commission, CEC carries out the SASCE project together with the European Jewish Congress Security and Crisis Centre, Faith Matters and the European Buddhist Union.