Register Now: Embracing Religious Diversity

July 27-29, 2021

This workshop is open only to members of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. 

To register, click here.

For Agenda (English), click here. (Translated agendas are forthcoming soon.)

Violent conflict is often expressed in religious terms and religious discrimination has been on the rise over the past decade affecting every religious group. From the persecution of Rohingya in Myanmar and the Kurds in Iraq to Christians in Syria, Jews in Argentina, and Muslims in Nigeria, Europe, and the United States, religious minorities are victims of discrimination on every continent.

ICSC members at the 2019 Asia Regional Meeting held at the Tibet Museum, ICSC member in Dharamshala India.

While religious doctrines, traditions, and norms can be a powerful force in encouraging and justifying discrimination and legitimizing violence, the underlying causes (the root causes) of Faith or Religious Belief (FoRB) violations or tensions have less to do with theological differences than with economic, socio-cultural, and political factors and with how societies memorialize the past.

Work carried out by Sites of Conscience around the world has also shown that in many contexts, religious belief and faith-based actors are playing a positive role in peacebuilding, social cohesion, and conflict prevention by encouraging peaceful co-existence and tolerance and by influencing transitional justice processes.

To explore these intricacies and identify proactive strategies to address them, from July 27-29, 2021 the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (the Coalition) will hold “Embracing Religious Diversity,” the second of three global workshops that comprise our 2021 Global Summit, “Building Global Capacity for Inclusive Democracies,” designed to support peer-to-peer learning, capacity building and project collaboration in promoting inclusivity and democratic values in our communities.

Workshop participants will engage in the following sessions:

  • Interactive session on the multiple factors creating conditions for Faith or Religious Belief discrimination and violence today and how communities can combat violations of freedom of  Faith of Religious Belief and partner with Faith Actors to foster peaceful and inclusive societies.

  • Training on dialogue as a tool for engaging community members in cross-cultural, religious, inter-faith, and inter-generational participatory programs, laying the groundwork for advocacy initiatives that foster social cohesion and lasting peace.

  • Training of trainers on how to develop comic books pertaining to Freedom of Faith and Religious diversity and inclusion.

Global Action

Community Engagement Grants:

Inter-Religious Understanding Through Graphic Arts

Building on discussions held, lessons learned, and skills gained from the “Embracing Religious Diversity” global workshop, ten selected Sites of Conscience will work with youth in their communities to create comic books pertaining to religious diversity and inclusion.

These community engagement grants – collectively entitled, “Inter-Religious Understanding Through Graphic Arts – aims to build technical capacities at the community level to prompt new understandings of various faith-based beliefs and their role in civic engagement. The resulting comic books will be used as springboards for dialogue at sites around the world, functioning as non-threatening, informative introductions to various religions to foster mutual understanding and social cohesion in divided communities.

Following the global workshop, each of the ten selected members will work with interested youth in their communities to produce two to three short comics. After six weeks, participants will convene online to discuss their comics and provide advice to one another. Upon completion, the comics will be distributed to all members on the Coalition’s Resource Center, where they can be easily downloaded and inspire similar youth-based projects in communities around the world.

Application guidelines, application form, and budget template will be available soon.