Building Communities of Trust – Project 2 (2016-17)
The project was designed in partnership with ILGA to support partnerships in EU member states to take action on the priority topic for both organisations of: Reducing Hate Crime and Discrimination against Minorities. Both Religion and Belief communities and LGBT communities have long shared the experience of being targets for hate crimes, hate speech and violence, which has increased in recent years. The project is designed to enable both communities to build partnerships based on mutual understanding, solidarity and a commitment to joint action to change attitudes in their respective communities, and in wider society.
The project builds on a successful pilot programme last year in 5 member states, which found that it was not always easy to tackle this issue directly in some regional or religious contexts. So, in addition to which tackle the issue directly, some seminars and campaigns may tackle the issue under a related topic, such as human rights, ‘traditional values v European values’, or freedom to express one’s identity or belief.
To support seminars, events or targeted initiatives (eg within religion/belief traditions), which create safe spaces to explore sources of conflict between R&B and LGBT communities, and to build solidarity on the basis of human rights, and shared values;
To develop new narratives and materials based on mutual understanding within and between R&B and LGBT communities, human rights and shared experience of hate crime and persecution;
To increase commitment at governmental and societal levels to policies that promote equalities and anti-discrimination on R&B and LGBT grounds.
How to Participate
Contact us for information on activities in your country, or for an initial visit to your organisation.
Reconciling Values, Religion and Human Rights
It will focus especially on those aspects of Human Rights, including some key components of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which have come under attack by far-right groups in parts of Europe and also regrettably, by some groups, including members of the hierarchies, of the key European religion or belief (R&B) traditions. ENORB’s support to Europe’s religious minorities – particularly those who wear some form of religious dress or symbol – and our support for solidarity between religion and belief and LGBT communities, have also been the subject of attack. This seminar will be an opportunity to exploring these challenges, and to reaffirm the implications of human rights for all.
The aims of the seminar will be both exploratory and practical:
- To identify shared and positive values which can be subscribed to by all R&B traditions across Europe in all its diversity
- To build campaigning partnerships between R&B and LGBT organisations for local action to combat hate crime and implement key fundamental rights which are under attack in several parts of Europe.
Register here to join an excellent line-up of speakers and to meet participants from across Europe.
AUGUST NEWS BULLETIN
Download ENORB’s Summer Bulletin 2016. for dates of upcoming events and reports on Education in Religion and AGM 2016.
STATEMENT ON ATTACKS IN EUROPE & TURKEY
ENORB is posting this message after another week of horror and violence in Europe. The Nice attack on families, children and visitors gathering to celebrate Bastille Day – France’s day of liberty – with parades and fireworks, is again designed to horrify and destabilise European societies.
First of we want to remember in love the victims of the Nice attack. As well as mourning the dead, and sending love to the injured and their families, we want, as representatives of the religions and belief traditions of Europe, to express our solidarity with the French people at this time of pain and suffering.
Then, at the weekend, after a night of violent attacks in Ankara on the democracy and liberties of the Turkish people, which also resulted in the deaths of many innocent people, we extend the same feelings to all who have died, to the injured and to all families and friends of those who have suffered during the attempted coup.
In both these countries with secular traditions, adjusting to the realities of a new century, we stand with all those of different faiths and none who have gathered together to remember the dead and to seek peace, freedom and harmony in our diverse societies.
ENORB sends its deepest sympathies to the victims of the horrific attack in Orlando, and to their families, loved ones and friends. In the days since, we have seen an extraordinary response from ordinary people across the world, demonstrating solidarity with LGBTI people, as well as grief for those killed and injured and their families.
These immediate reactions, as well as the images and stories on social media, have of course included people from religious and non-religious backgrounds. In many countries there have been interfaith and interconvictional gatherings, in addition to the church leaders who have organised vigils and permitted their buildings to be used for remembrance services and other events.
We also welcome the growing number of religious leaders who are speaking out wholeheartedly in favour of equal rights for LGBTI people, and others who have called on their followers to offer love and support without qualification to those who are persecuted because of their sexuality.
We hope many will join ENORB in our current programme, offering safe spaces for reflection and dialogue with LGBTI people. If such encounters can happen across Europe and the wider world, then perhaps some good can come out of the darkness of recent days.
UPCOMING EVENTS 2016
Our next events are on May 30th and May 31st at the ICA centre, in central Brussels.
Our AGM/Assemblée générale – with a main topic of Security, Freedom and Solidarity: responding to the current crises for the European Union; and with workshops on Responding to hate crime; and Building Solidarity across Europe on controversial topics: i) on LGBT rights, and ii) on Women’s rights. Download the AGM agenda and programme here.
Register here if you plan to join us for the AGM.
May 31st, the following day, will be our next seminar – on Religion and Education: Exploring the Positive Potential of Educating on Religion, Conviction and Belief: A smorgasbord of good practice from schools to communities (and vice versa). Download the full seminar programme here.
Register here if you plan to attend the seminar.
The programmes, which will be sent to all on our mailing list, have full details of topics, speakers etc – and overnight accommodation – which is available at the venue for these events – ICA Centre, 8, Rue Amadee Lynen 1210 – Brussels at €55 per night, or at nearby hotels.
Statement after Brussels attacks
ENORB, the European Network on Religion and Belief, sends its heartfelt sympathy to the victims of the horrific attacks here in Brussels and their families; our thoughts and prayers extend to the many people across Belgium affected by these tragic events through ties of family and friendship.
These atrocities are clearly designed to strike at the heart of Europe and to directly threaten the message of peace and stability represented by the European institutions. We join in the universal response of religions and humane organisations: we condemn violence at all times, and all attempts to use religion or ideology to justify terrorism and violence.
We recognise the importance of security for all peoples of Europe, whatever their religious, ethnic or national origin, including recent refugees from war in the Middle East. But we also recognise and condemn all who seek to use these events, as well as the refugee crisis, to foment racism and xenophobia which further increase the attacks on religious minorities across Europe.
We grieve this senseless suffering and loss of life, we condemn unreservedly such terrorist violence, and we stand united in our determination to build societies that are open, free and respectful of diversity.
23 March 2016
Manifesting Religion or Belief: A Human Rights Perspective
Seminar 7 at the European Parliament on 17 November 2015 09:00 – 16:45
Manifesting Religion or Belief: A Human Rights Perspective
- Kishan Manocha, ODIHR Senior Adviser on Freedom of Religion and Belief
- Professor Eugenia Relano Pastor, Complutense University, Madrid
- Willy Fautre, Human Rights Without Frontiers
- Keith Porteous Wood, National Secular Society UK
- Karim Chemlal, Fédération des Organisations Islamiques d’Europe
- Martin Gurvich, Hindu Forum of Europe
- Mejindarpal Kaur: United Sikhs
- Patricia Duval: Attorney at Law, Paris
Download draft programme here.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2015
ENORB’s AGM / Assemblée Générale is on Wednesday 27 May to Thursday 28 May 2015, from 12:30 at Centre Espaces, 40, Avenue de la Renaissance, 1000 – Brussels.
This year’s theme is
Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and Belief and Solidarity: what limitations are acceptable in a plural Europe?
There will be a full programme, with speakers from ‘laiciste’, religious and non-religious perspectives.
The AGM will start at 13:15 on 27 May, with speakers and group discussions in the afternoon, followed by an evening meal. Workshops and discussion will continue on the morning of May 28, when we shall also be agreeing policy directions for the next two years, finishing at 13:00.
Our Winter Bulletin (2014 – 2015) has news of our seminar in March, our joint work with ILGA-Europe, the new European Presidency, EP Intergroup on Freedom of Religion and Belief and more.
Why a European Network?
The increasing importance of matters of Religion and Belief in public life across Europe has been recognised in Article 17 of the Treaty of Lisbon: that the European Union
“Respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States.
Equally respects the status under national law of philosophical and non-confessional organisations.
Recognising their identity and their specific contribution, the Union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organisations.”
In addition, Article 19, especially through the implementation of the Religion and Belief strand of Equalities and Fundamental Rights, is leading to greater awareness across Europe of the need to take action to promote harmony and mutual understanding, and to combat discrimination and prejudice on issues of Religion and Belief across Europe.
The European Network on Religion and Belief (ENORB) seeks to work with others to develop a long-term network, within the framework of EU policies on equalities and fundamental rights, to combat discrimination and promote mutual understanding in the field of Religion and Belief. ENORB will facilitate dialogue between Religion and Belief traditions of all kinds and support the development of similar networks in all member-states.
What we hope to be
A European Network for mutual understanding and common action between religious and non-religious groups, based on the shared European values which bind diverse groups and communities together in a strong and sustainable Europe: social cohesion and inclusion, freedom of belief and discussion, respect for the rule of law, democracy, human rights, and equality of treatment for all, which seeks to:
- Build on the common heritage and the modern diversity of Europe’s historical faiths: Christian – Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant – and Jewish and Muslim
- Draw on the long European traditions of free thinking, secular humanism and non-religious social action
- Affirm Europe’s modern diversity: Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain and other religions from across the world
- Define common ground and promote collaboration between secular institutions and religious and non-religious organisations