Bavaria – May 17th, 2023
For the launch of Work Package 4, University of Applied Sciences for Public Service in Bavaria – Department of Policing, together with the SHIELD project partners, held a training session related to prevention and awareness raising for the protection of religious institutions and houses of worship on May 17th, 2023.
With more than 50 attendees from many different fields, the one-day, digital event featured interessting presentations, fruitful group workshops and collaborative discussions.
After Francine Martin, representing the project coordinator SYNYO, presented the focus and objectives of the project to all participants of the training, the presentations of two partners followed. Alessandro Marani from Zanasi&Partner, spoke in his presentation “Overview on past terrorist attacks towards places of worship and in-depth analysis of the terrorist attack to Notre-Dame of Nice on 29 October 2020” about the said attack on a church in Nice, but also spoke more generally about the definition of religious terrorism and general statistics about attacks against houses of worship. Gabor Werner of BUJS, with his contribution “Presentation of the possibilities of houses of worship to protect themselves and the principles of effective defense”, provided an insight into the principles of effective protection and tools for defense.
This was followed by the workshops, which formed the core of the training. Divided into the three religious communities, the participants were able to clarify specific questions and adapt and discuss the training material to suit their respective needs. This resulted in some fruitful discussions among the members.
The 15-25 participants were mainly church leaders, community members, security practitioners and experts in risk detection. Later on, all workshops came back together in the big group to share again the main points and findings with the others and then to get into the conversation together.
Besides awareness raising and sensitization around the topic of security measures for religious institutions, the main focus of the event was on exchange. With regard to the simulations that complete the workpackage, the main focus was on the theoretical background and the possibilities to improve the security of religious institutions.