HIAS Europe and Church of Sweden Team Up To Support Refugee Integration

July 1, 2021
By Magdalena Wernefeldt

The Church of Sweden and the Jewish refugee aid organization HIAS are partnering to facilitate community integration in Europe. To this end, the two organizations signed in June a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

In 2015, more than 1000 Church of Sweden parishes received refugees from Syria and elsewhere. In 2018, the Church launched The World of Neighbours program bringing grassroots actors of different faiths together across all of Europe to help ‘people on the move’.

Common ambition

HIAS becomes the first non-Christian faith-based organization to join the Church in its interfaith network, Interreligious praxis for peace – A World of Neighbours. Under the agreement, HIAS will work to engage Jewish communities across Europe to join this network and support refugees and their local integration. HIAS is an international Jewish humanitarian organization established in 1881 to aid Jewish refugees. It now operates in 16 countries in support of refugees of all nationalities, religions, and ethnic origins.

– We want to contribute to stable interreligious relations in Europe. Together we want to work strategically to contribute to a welcoming and inclusive society, Church of Sweden Archbishop Antje Jackelén said.

– HIAS and the Church of Sweden share a common ambition – to protect and welcome refugees. Enhancing inter-communal collaboration will enhance the impact of the activities of Jewish communities, added Ilan Cohn, the director of HIAS Europe.

For more information please contact: anna.hjalm@svenskakyrkan.se in Stockholm or HIASEurope@hias.org in Brussels.