‘PROSECUW – Protection and Security for Places of Worship’ is a project funded by the Internal Security Fund Police (ISFP) of the European Commission that runs from May 2021 to April 2023. ISFP-2020-AG-PROTECT. Project Number: 101034232
Places of worship around Europe and the world are, according to recent report, in increased danger in the last years due to terrorist attacks and an augmentation of hate crimes. These places serve not only individuals but also families and people in need. Thus, it is essential they be able to feel safe in such places and this should be a top priority among local and national stakeholders. One of the various ways to improve protection and security in places of worship is the engagement of the community in the protection efforts.
The main objective of the project is to establish cooperation between public authorities and faith-basedleaders and congregations aiming at a better understanding of, security threats, promotion of awareness raising activities and the creation of manuals for sharing best practices and relevant tools among EU stakeholders.
The activities and deliverables of the project will include, first of all, a documentary that will include digital storytelling from people who have experienced hate crimes and terror in places of worship. This way, hopefully others will feel safer to share their stories and report such crimes. The documentary will be included in other training activities based on training modules that would enhance understating of the safety concerns and cooperation for their resolution. Furthermore, a best practices guide and policy recommendations based on these training activities will be set to be shared EU-wide. Last but not least, various awareness raising activities will be shared internationally in order to inform the religious communities about the protection plans.
The PROSECUW project in the short and medium term will benefit religious leaders and law enforcement agents through the training sessions and exchange of a best practices guide internationally and in the long term it aims to increase protection of thousands of congregants in Europe. The implementation of the proposed project will lead to strengthened protection measures in religious establishments and better responses to religion-based hate crimes, increase the number of the reported attacks that the last few years are under-reported and eventually address security concerns at places of worship.
The general objective of PROSECUW is to enhance protection at places of worship in European countries by setting up cooperation between public authorities (especially law enforcement agents), religious leaders and congregants. The cooperation will be established in various forms and through communication and information for a better understanding of hate speech/crime and terrorist threats that places of worship face in terms of security.