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LDA SUBOTICA local initiative – ALL OUR TOWERS Fostering a culture of interreligious dialogue among young people

Ивана Велкова
LDA SUBOTICA local initiative – ALL OUR TOWERS Fostering a culture of interreligious dialogue among young people

LDA Subotica is concluding the first phase of the initiative entitled All our towers, designed as a comprehensive set of awareness raising, research and advocacy activities, jointly developed by LDA Subotica team and local partner CSOs as well as individual associates and experts. Its main rationale is to reinvigorate the public debate on inter-religious tolerance particularly among youth and open up the public space for a broader participation of diverse local actors who would contribute to a more effective functioning of the Municipal Council for inter-ethnic relations.

The project intends to empower local youth groups to engage in an informed public policy dialogue relevant to interreligious dialogue and tolerance, as well as to build their capacities for a deepened understanding and respect for diverse cultural, religious heritage of the local multiethnic community. Furthermore, it contributes to improving the leadership skills of civic activists and strengthen local civic organization capabilities in the field of promoting the culture of dialogue and respect for ethnic and religious diversities. 

Four components are integrated in the project structure comprising awareness raising, promotion of diverse religious heritage, research and evidence based advocacy in order to help put inter-religious dialogue and tolerance in a multicultural local community higher on the agenda, not only of the political actors, but also of civil society actors and diverse ethnic minority groups and religious communities. Research work, analytical study, published background analyses, policy recommendations, project brochure promoting diverse religious heritage designed by young people, are among the main outputs which will serve as the grounds for follow-up activities and monitoring role of CSOs included in the action.

One of the main outputs is the guided tour – Beautiful Religious sites in Subotica. The walking tour was designed by a group of young people led by Prof. Rudolf Weiss, historian, revealing cultural diversity and rich religious heritage of our city. This walking tour was organized in July 2022, as a learning opportunity for the youngsters to get to know better their own city, while the brochure they designed can certainly serve as an inspirational guide for numerous sightseers and globetrotters visiting Subotica. The guided tour includes: Orthodox Church, Catholic Saint Francis Church, Synagogue, Mosque, and Evangelist Church.

One of the conclusions as reiterated in the debate during the Round table, held on July 29th, is that Subotica may serve as a good example of intercultural and inter-faith dialogue in Serbia. A wide range of both institutional and informal approaches underpinning this policy were mentioned. However, it is important to continuously improve and upgrade these activities, while the proactive role of local authorities, different ethnic communities, civil society sector and media is essential, as well as the education for intercultural understanding and for the respect for diversity that should take place in schools, in streets and in public sphere. 

Online Walking tour brochure:
 

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