ENORB Bulletin April 2014

ENORB BULLETIN

April 2014 

ENORB AGM and Assemblée Générale in Brussels on 17 JUNE, 2014

The European Network on Religion and Belief was founded in 2010 and registered in Brussels in 2012.  Our AGM is an opportunity for members and adherents to join us in reviewing progress and fixing priorities for next year’s work.  A keynote speaker will analyse EU election results, including the impact of the far right.  Please join us.  Find information on becoming a member (€50) or adherent (free) at www.enorb.eu and by contacting enorb@enorb.eu.

ENORB organises activities at European and member state levels with these aims:

  • To bring together religious and non-religious organisations in inter-convictional activities to promote mutual understanding, shared values and joint action for the common good.
  • To combat discrimination and hate crime and promote equal treatment of those of any religion or non-religious belief
  • To advocate policies to implement the EU Fundamental Right to freedom of religion and belief

We work towards achieving these aims with a programme of European seminars in Brussels, and support to religion and belief networks in member states.

Project News

ENORB Funding.  We submitted two applications for funding, to support EU seminars and initial meetings in 10-15 member states over 2014-15, similar to the 5 already held in 2012-13. Our first application, for an Open Society Foundation small grant, has been successful, so we can undertake a limited programme in 5 member states.  These will bring together organisations working in the field of inter-faith relations and human rights to explore ways of working together on local priorities and focus on one of the two ENORB priorities for 2014 (i) Religion, Belief and LGBT Rights, and (ii) Freedom to wear Religious Symbols and Clothing.

Reports and Publications

ENORB Reports.  Just available is the latest – Exploring Freedoms Together – on the exploratory seminar between ENORB and ILGA-Europe (the European Network on LGBT rights) last autumn.  An invited group of 20 participants from both networks included Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist representatives, and Christians – Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant – and non-religious – atheists and humanists.  They explored the interface between freedom to express one’s sexual orientation and freedom to express one’s religion and belief, tackling some highly sensitive issues and reaching clear agreement on the basis of the values of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.  It was agreed to develop a programme of joint activities for the future.

All our seminar reports are available on the website www.enorb.eu.

News from Members and Partner Organisations

Inter-Convictional Initiatives in Member states.  In the UK, London Boroughs Faith Network celebrated both its 10th anniversary and the start of ENORB UK at a reception at Europe House, London.  In January, SERIC brought together representatives of 8 European countries to exchange experiences on Christian-Muslim forums and dialogues (one of which focused on dialogue with atheists).  In February, an initial meeting with ENORB in Stockholm was hosted by the Church of Sweden and its Inter-Religious Council, and contact was made with the national Humanist Association.  Please keep us informed of local developments!

European Election on Religion and Belief

European Elections. Participate and Combat Hate Speech! Like other European Equalities Networks, we have been focusing on the coming elections, and have developed a manifesto, which is available on the website and attached to this bulletin.  We hope all member organisations will encourage participation in debates and the elections, especially by members of minority groups. We are particularly concerned to eliminate the hate speech heard in campaigns at the far end of the political spectrum.

PLEASE REPORT ALL CASES OF HATE SPEECH, using the reporting form launched at a joint meeting with the European Network on Racism and ILGAR-Europe at the European Parliament  http://enar-eu.org/Online-reporting-form-for-EU-2014.

 

For further information and to contact ENORB, email enorb@enorb.eu, visit thewebsite www.enorb.eu andfollow ENORB ontwitter @enorb_eu.