The SOAR (Strengthening the security and resilience of at-risk religious sites and communities) project held a regional networking event on the 23rd of November, 2021, in Cologne, Germany. In attendance were various faith leaders, faith institution management, volunteers, law enforcement collaborators and EU representatives.

The SOAR project’s consortium partners- led by Enhancing Faith Institutions (EFI), Architects Council of Europe (ACE), Finn Church Aid (FCA) and the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers- collectively delivered multiple presentations, highlighting key objectives and resources, throughout the event. They were joined by representatives from the European Commission and the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), who also delivered presentations at the event.

The SOAR Project was also pleased to host Herr Kriminaldirektor, Ralf Kluxen, of the Landeskriminalamt NRW (State Criminal Police Office of of Nordrhein-Westfalen) who also presented and engaged with the audience at the regional event.

SOAR builds upon the European Commission’s 2020 strategy on increasing the protection of public places, including places of worship. The project promotes interfaith collaboration and caters support to advance community safety and security capabilities via trainings for all faith communities alike. The SOAR consortium supports local faith communities and places of worship across seven pilot countries in Europe including France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands, and Denmark.

Below are some key moments from the SOAR Cologne Regional event:

The SOAR Project Consortium partners were joined by representative of the European Commission
in delivering presentations at the SOAR launch event in Cologne, Germany.
Enhancing Faith Institutions (EFI), lead coordinators of the SOAR Project, presenting the project’s strategic vision and goals.
Pleased to have Herr Kriminaldirektor, Ralf Kluxen, of the Landeskriminalamt NRW (State Criminal Police Office of Nordrhein-Westfalen) also presenting at the event.
Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, Executive Director of Peacemakers Network, shared how the SOAR project will support tangible & sustainable security measures for places of worship.
Ana Jimenez, Political Advisor at UNAOC, providing an insightful presentation at the SOAR Project Cologne regional event.
Veronika Schröpfer from Architects Council of Europe (ACE) also shared some valuable input at the event.
Faith networks of the SOAR project from across Germany attended the SOAR Cologne launch event, engaging on all aspects of the safety & security of places of worship & faith communities in Europe.