The (SOAR) is the ‘Strengthening the security and resilience of at-risk religious sites and communities’ programme. We, Enhancing Faith Institutions (EFI) are the lead partner and we are working alongside our project partners who are on this call, who are based across Europe -> Finn Church Aid, Architects Council of Europe & United Nations Alliance of Civilisations.
The programme is looking to advance the protection and safeguarding of places for worship across the 7 pilot countries we are working in across Europe (France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Italy and Denmark). The network of the partnership is extensive and includes representatives from all majority and minority faiths practicing within the EU… the project is interfaith focused in our training and reach, supporting to keep all faiths and faith institutions safe and secure across Europe.
Our audiences throughout the project will be directed to a new knowledge base which will provide access to trainings, guides and resources & best practices in protective security. National, regional / metro, and local trainings in seven pilot EU member states will be provided and include a focus on increasing collaboration and cooperation between security offices and leaders of places of worship with their wider communities and public authorities, including the police.
We are working on using innovative communications approaches that increase in the awareness of & capacity of places of worship and religious leaders to respond to, physical and human security threats. This will use the full range of communication channels including the networks of the partnership.
A key component of the programme is to advance the protection of religious sites by implementing ‘security by design’ (SBD) concept. Providing time for experts in our trainings to discuss this concept, its importance and making it a key aspect of the SOAR programme.