Online conference presents first project and research results.
The establishment of the Interreligious Institute (www.iri.al) in Albania has fallen completely into the COVID-10 pandemic. Although almost everything had to be done remotely, the first results from the project and research departments are impressive. They were presented to the public for the first time in an online conference in June 2021.
The first scientific publication was published by Dr. Albert Rakipi under the title "Albanian Bektashism: the political story of a religious movement".
OEC, in cooperation with the project promoters, trained multipliers in local teams for interreligious dialogue in six Albanian municipalities (Berat, Durres, Elbasan, Shkodra, Korca, Tirana) on topics such as "Participatory methods for interreligious dialogue at the local level", “Project development, project management and fundraising" as well as "Collegial counselling and networking".
At the end of the trainings, each team applied for and carried out a local mini-project. For example, information cards on religious and holy sites were developed, visits to religious sites were organised, a database for the networking of clerics (explicitly women) was set up, a training for journalists to be able to report about the religions in Albania in a well-informed and respectful way; rounds of talks on interreligious dialogue with young people and students. In addition, an interfaith Iftar celebration was organised for the first time.
We are looking forward to continuing the project in the coming year with hopefully somewhat easier framework conditions. For the further development and sustainability of the Interreligious Institute, which will be active in all six Western Balkan states in a third project phase starting in 2022, we are looking for interested partners and funding foundations in Germany and Europe for cooperation as well as participation in operational and research projects on interreligious dialogue.
Contact: Andrea Mewaldt