Advocacy for religious freedom

    Time and again, conflicts arise and atrocities are perpetrated against members of other religious communities in the name of religion. Mission 21 carries out advocacy work to obtain fruitful benefits from religion's potential for peace. In collaboration with our partners, we promote continuing education to support interfaith peace work. We work across religious divides, and we strengthen trust between religious communities. Every year, we organise a symposium on Interfaith Peace Work in Switzerland. On dates marking symbolic anniversaries and occasions such as Human Rights Day on 10 December, we appear in public to send out a message of religious freedom.

    Interfaith peace work

    Religious freedom is enshrined in the constitutions of many countries. Nevertheless, acts of violence are repeatedly perpetrated in the name – or under the cloak – of religion. In Nigeria, for example, the Boko Haram Islamist terror militia is poisoning relations between Christians and Muslims. In Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, many young people are becoming radicalised. Mission 21 offers numerous educational opportunities so that young people in Africa, Asia and Latin America can gain prospects for their futures; in this way, the Mission is taking action to oppose radicalisation. Interfaith peace work is one of the core themes in Mission 21's programme for personnel exchange in development cooperation.

    ► Interfaith peace work in Nigeria project

    ► Interfaith collaboration for peace and justice

    ► Interfaith dialogue in the Southern Andes region


    Continuing education in Switzerland

    We collaborate with our partners in Switzerland to advance the cause of interfaith peace. We support basic and continuing education that strengthens interfaith and intercultural dialogue, enabling participants to adopt a finely nuanced, context-based approach to different religions. Through our events in Switzerland, we inform and educate specialists and other interested participants about strategies and methods for interfaith peace work, as well as its impact. We also motivate decision-makers to support peaceful coexistence among religions.


    International peace campaigns

    Do something to encourage people, and talk about it! In our era of social media where 'likes' and an internet presence are critical, sustained impact can be achieved by repeatedly publicising work for interfaith peace and efforts to achieve religious freedom – and this is also a way of mobilising more people to give their support. With this aim in mind, Mission 21 mounts campaigns that have a strong impact on the public, and we make them even more effective by using online media and social media channels.

     

    Day of remembrance for victims of radicalism and terrorism

    Boko Haram, the Islamist terror militia, abducted 276 schoolgirls from the small town of Chibok in Nigeria on 14 April 2014. Most of them were members of the EYN, Mission 21's partner church. Almost 100 of these young women are still being held hostage by Boko Haram. On 14 April each year, Mission 21 recalls this crime, remembers the victims of terrorism, fanaticism and radicalism, and spreads information about interfaith peace work.

     

    Human Rights Day

    To mark International Human Rights Day on 10 December each year, Mission 21 organises an advocacy event in Switzerland when we call for commitment to interfaith peace and action to enforce the human right to religious freedom. We back up our call to action by spreading information, and we send out a message of peace and tolerance.

     

    2018

    As part of Human Rights Day 2018, Mission 21 set a sign for human rights at Claraplatz in Basel. Four large posters attracted the attention of passers-by. They showed women and men from four continents who are committed to other people with a great deal of passion and expertise. With a photo from the instant camera, many interested people expressed their solidarity with people who work for peace and justice under difficult conditions.

    2017

    On 10 December 2017, Mission 21 brought representatives of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths together at Basel Minster. The participants launched a joint interfaith appeal to strengthen women and to oppose violence against women. This advocacy action in support of gender equity ended with a symbolic act: the participants simultaneously released white balloons in the shape of doves of peace.

    2016

    On 10 December 2016, Mission 21 mobilised about 80 supporters for a campaign that generated a strong public impact. The "hope" video clip showed symbolically how hope is born when people stand together. About 5,000 people viewed the video clip online, and it motivated them to find out more about Mission 21's interfaith peace work.

     

    International partners for peace

    All over the world, Mission 21 collaborates with professional organisations and churches that support advocacy for religious freedom. In Africa, Asia and Latin America alike: we engage in networking to advance intercultural dialogue and interfaith peace work.