ENORB’s AGM 2017 will take place on Thursday 29 June at Centre Espaces, 40, Avenue de la Renaissance, 1000 – Brussels. Details tbc.
Reception in London for visitors from Berlin Monday 30 January 2017 at LBFN’s offices at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW
- Dr Thomas Schimmel, Director, 1219 Religions- und Kulturdialog, Berlin
- Pasha Shah, Integration and Faith Division, Department of Communities and Local Government
- Katharina Smith-Müller, Inter Faith Advisor, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
- Dr Thomas Wipf, Swiss reformed theologian and Moderator, European Council of Religious Leaders
- Pastor Peter Jorgensen, Community of Evangelical Free Churches, Berlin
- Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, Director, Council of Christians and Jews, UK
- Representative of Hartmut Rhein, Commissioner for Churches and Religious and Philosophical Communities, Mayor’s Office, Berlin (tbc)
- Catriona Robertson, Convener, London Boroughs Faiths Network and Interim Director, Christian Muslim Forum
“Interfaith, Cities and Government” is a new project launched by the European Council of Religious Leaders (Religions for Peace), bringing together interfaith leaders and local governments from European cities, to share best practice, exchange knowledge, and explore collaboration. The visit to London follows a meeting at Berlin Town Hall in October 2016 which included London Boroughs Faiths Network, Faiths Forum for London, the Metropolitan Police and the European Council of Religious Leaders.
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.
31 May 2016 at Centre Espaces, 40, Avenue de la Renaissance, 1000 – Brussels
European Network on Religion & Belief with CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe.
- James Barnett – COGREE (Coordinating Group for Religion in Education in Europe), and former chair, Council of Europe Working Group on the Religious Dimension of Intercultural Dialogue.
- Paul Weller– University of Derby “Religious Education in Changing Social Contexts”
- Szilvia Kalman – European Commission DG Education and the follow up to the Paris Declaration of Education Ministers
- Armand Benizri – Inspector of Religious Education Belgium “Debates, opportunities and curricular changes in the Belgian public schools”
- Communities: Anne de Potter (Beth Hillel Synagogue/Cercle d’Eveil); Clément Dumas (Etterbeek Convictions en Dialogue) ; Mustapha Chairi (Reflections from Schaerbeck)
- Adult Education: Robin Sclafani (CEJI-Belieforama (Europe)), Raheed Salam (All Faiths and None (AFAN UK))
- Schools : Marine Quenin (France- video), Dr. Helen Brown – Ecole International le Verseau (Belgium); Armand Benizri -Inspector for Jewish Education in Belgian French Community Public Schools; Stephanie Lecesne – CEJI and in-service professional development training for teachers
- Youth Sector: Mo & Moos (Netherlands); Sam Grybowski – Coexister (France)
30 May 2016 at Centre Espaces, 40, Avenue de la Renaissance, 1000 – Brussels
Keynote Speaker: Professor Erica Howard, responses from speakers from perspectives of religions, and from humanism, followed by questions and discussion.
- Joint Responses to Hate crime from Religious, Secular and Human Rights organisations
- Building Solidarity on Human Rights
- Religious/Belief and LGBT organisations
- Religion/Belief and Women’s Rights
Plenary: next steps
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
- 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
European Network on Religion & Belief AGM 2015
Farewell to Dr Kishan Manocha
ENORB UK is saying farewell to Dr Kishan Manocha on 12 May 1pm – 2.30pm at Europe House, 32 Smith Square, SW1P 3EU. We will hear from Dr Manocha about his new posting at OSCE and his thoughts on the value of freedom of speech and of religion & belief.
We will also discuss stakeholder questions ahead of the European Commission’s Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights on the topic of Tolerance and respect: preventing and combating anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe. Download the stakeholder questions here. Let LBFN know if you would like to join us (registration is essential in order to enter the building).
An ENORB meeting in Brussels took place on 26 March 2015, a joint event with ILGA-Europe on Equality for All – EU equality legislation against hate speech & discrimination on grounds of religion, belief, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Download the full programme here.
The last meeting of ENORB UK took place at Europe House, Smith Square, SW1P 3EU at 10am – 12 noon on Wednesday 12 November 2014. The event was part of Inter Faith Week 2014. Andrew Copson, CE of the British Humanist Association, spoke on
Humanism, Laïcité, Atheism, Secularism across Europe: how do we work together across religious & belief traditions for fair treatment for all?
Download the flyer here.
LBFN has been making links with similar groups across Europe since 2009. As a follow-up to our Brêakfåst in Mültifaitħ Eŭrőpe in November 2010, we gathered people from over 30 organisations for lunch at Europe House in London on 28th November 2011. Download the programme here. We continued this series with Afternoon Tea in Multifaith Europe in November 2012 and a reception at Europe House as part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations in November 2013.
Since January 2011, we have been part of a growing group of grassroots organisations across Europe working towards establishing the European Network On Religion and Belief. ENORB is now registered in Brussels (LBFN’s Convener sits on its Executive Board) and its aims are:
- To bring religious and non-religious groups together to work in partnership and in dialogue with the European Union, on EU policy priorities, with particular reference to the ‘economic, social and territorial cohesion’ of Europe.
- To build a common European Platform to combat discrimination and prejudice, and promote harmony and shared values between different religious and non-religious traditions, through joint activities including dialogue, exchanges and social actions for the common good.
- To develop a shared language between religions, philosophical organisations, and politicians on key issues and policies for the future of Europe.
ENORB has organised five seminars in Brussels, two of which have taken place at the European Parliament:
Europe’s Economic Crisis – November 2012
Fair Treatment for All – March 2013
Joint seminar with the International Lesbian & Gay Association – Europe – September 2013
Is wearing articles of faith a threat to European democracies? December 2013
Three gatherings in London have been chaired by LBFN to bring together an ENORB-UK group linking to European groups and providing an informal space for sharing information and ideas on religion and belief in the UK. The last event was held at Senate House, University of London, and focused on the latest research on religion and belief.
If you would like to add your ideas and suggestions, please leave a comment here on the blog or contact LBFN’s convener.
Please get in touch if you’re interested in networking with intercultural practitioners across Europe – particularly those who, like LBFN members, are involved in developing public policy, at a local (and, in this case, EU) level.
The EU’s Lisbon Treaty sets out its responsibilities in relation to religion and belief groups. Article 17 of the Treaty states
- The Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States.
- The Union 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.
Roughly speaking, (1) refers to religious groups and (2) refers to humanist, atheist & philosophical groups.
Here are some links – leave a comment below if you have come across others which would be useful.
British Council – Our Shared Europe
European Commission, Bureau of European Policy Advisers – Dialogue with religion, churches and communities of conviction.