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What YOUth believe - Interfaith Dialogue in youth work
Start date: Jul 1, 2015, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The increasing cultural diversification within contemporary Europe also leads to a greater variety in religious terms. In the recent years increasing tensions between religious groups can be registered and resentments based on misconceptions and stereotypical perceptions of 'the other' form a common concern in many European countries. One way to prevent the resulting discrimination on religious belief certainly is the initiation of an inter-faith dialogue, during which participant can get a deeper understanding of other religions and also explore the numerous inter-connections between them. The training course "What YOUth believe - Interfaith Dialogue in youth work" therefore gathered 30 youth workers dealing with or interested in interreligious dialogue activities and coming from Armenia, Germany, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Estonia, Danmark, France, Portugal, Turkey to investigate concepts of interfaith dialogue and to raise their capacities in realizing projects for young people in this thematic field. The training course took place in Aghveran Resort, Armenia on 10-19 November, 2015. The specific objectives of the training were: - To bring youth workers/leaders interested in interfaith dialogue together to explore together the concepts of "Diversity" and "Culture of Dialogue" in the context of interfaith dialogue in Europe - To raise interfaith qualifications and competences of participants and to encourage them to use the acquired skills for working with youth belonging to various religious backgrounds in future - To raise the participant's intercultural sensitivity through exploring various faiths (their historical development, values and spiritual interconnectedness) as well as the principles of constructive dialogue among religions - To bring youth organisations dealing with or interested in interfaith dialogue together in order to develop follow-up projects for young people in this field The methodology used was based on non-formal education principles and combined inputs with interactive sessions, to make best use of the potential of the participants. The enhanced capacities of youth workers in the field contributed to a more peaceful coexistence of different religous groups in their communities and also helped to adress this topic among young people in international youth work. On a long term the TC should form a starting point for a pan-European network of individuals and organisations active in the field of interfaith dialogue for an ongoing exchange of experience and common realization of related activities.
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