Thank you, Neighbours!

February 25, 2022
By Magdalena Wernefeldt

The online meeting A Week of Neighbours ended Thursday with a 90 min live broadcast, a manifestation of humanity, after five days with about 60 program items, around 160 organisers and more than a thousand participants from all over Europe.

The focus has been on the issues of migration, integration and a Europe characterized by humanity and solidarity – topics that on Thursday gained a new and frightening urgency with the Russian war on Ukraine.

Time to unite

In the final live broadcast, the studio was visited by people who in various ways are at the forefront of the work to promote social cohesion in Europe. An inevitable question was their reactions to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There, a common message emerged that in the midst of shock and despair, it is now also time to pray, unite and prepare for action.

– As believers, we have in common that we have a trust in God that has lasted through thousands of years. It is also something that gives courage and motivates action, said both Archbishop Antje Jackelén and the Italian imam Yahya Pallavicini.

Photo: Magnus Aronson /Ikon

faith can never be neglected

The broadcast highlighted successful examples of integration and peace-building work across religious borders from Hungary, United Kingdom, Poland, France, Germany, Greece and Östersund.

Towards the end, Archbishop Antje Jackelén and Yahya Pallavicini held a joint prayer for peace.

Watch the recording of the broadcast Keeping Our Humanity Live.

For Archbishop Antje Jackelén, A Week of Neighbors has summarized themes that characterized her commitment during her tenure – the importance of cooperation across religious boundaries as an expression of Christian faith and a prerequisite for peace, and societies that guarantee the value and dignity of all people.

– The desire to keep our humanity has been at the center of the many meetings and conversations during this week. And in this, faith can never be neglected. I am extremely grateful for the number of people who have got involved, and I have been strengthened in my conviction that the network form of organization has a future.

Find videos and recorded program items from A Week of Neighbors.

Network taking next step


The meeting A Week of Neighbors is also the finale of the program A world of neighbors – interreligious practice for peace, which was created on the initiative of Archbishop Antje Jackelén. The program has been run by the Church of Sweden since 2018. The purpose has been to create a network of people from all over Europe who work for and with people on the run and for a socially sustainable Europe. This network is now taking nexts steps.

– We are happy and proud that the program has made visible and strengthened the practical and concrete work that many people do to keep our humanity, and that the network now continues its work based on its own platform, says Anna Hjälm, program manager for A World of Neighbours.