Spain aims to improve religious diversity in municipalities, Evangelical Focus
The reality of religious diversity in Spain is mainly managed by the municipal councils but these do not always have an adequate knowledge of the subject.
This has led to management issues and in some cases even a warning to the United Nations Human Rights Council, due to discriminatory treatment of religious minorities.
This is why the Spanish government, through the Foundation for Pluralism and Coexistence, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities (FEMP) and the University of Deusto (Basque Country), has developed a project that aims to provide the tools and resources necessary to improve day-to-day management of this reality.
The project, entitled “Municipalities for tolerance: towards a better management of religious diversity”, was presented at FEMP headquarters, with the participation of its president, the mayor of the Galician city of Vigo, Abel Caballero.
Carmen CalvoThe Spanish vice president, who is in charge of relations with faith groups in Spain, also attended the event. She pointed out that Spain is “a democracy that protects religious diversity as one of the great fundamental rights ”.
The project aims to help local governments manage religious diversity, “with equality, freedom, respect and tolerance for the fundamental right to practice the religion of your choice, not to practice any religion and that no one can impose it on you” , said the minister.
According to Calvo, “we have built a network of municipalities that will be followed by professionals who understand the subject, with a inclusive, free and egalitarian approachWhich is “typical of a democracy which must respect the religion of each of its citizens”.
Calvo underlined “the importance of being vigilant” because “freedoms, dialogue, peace, coexistence, solidarity and equality are at stake“In times of crisis when” there are turning points that can lead to light or darkness “.
“Freedom cannot be practiced without equality”, because “equality is built with solidarity, there is no other way”, she added.
For Calvo, the evolution of Spain in terms of religious diversity “is an asset, a reality that has put us in a modern place of freedom”.
“The reality of diversity in our country cannot be denied”, underlined Calvo, while thanking the participating mayors, “and those who will join”, for their openness to “projects that build this country in a peaceful, dialogue-based and brilliant way”.
Eight large municipalities have joined the project to date: Bilbao, Burgos, Cartagena, Castellón, Fuenlabrada, Guadalajara, Málaga and Valladolid.
In the founding charter, the signatory municipalities undertake to “ensure, within the framework of their functions, the exercise of freedom of religion”; “eliminate all forms of unjustified discrimination belief-based ”; “The promotion of respect, understanding and tolerance towards religious diversity” and “inter-administrative coordination and collaboration”.
They also undertake to promote “mechanisms for consultation and participation of religious communities to meet their needs in matters of religious freedom”; promote “spaces for dialogue between churches, denominations and religious communities in the municipality”, and to provide training in this area to those working in local councils.
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– Spain aims to improve religious diversity in municipalities