• Centrum Badań Migracyjnych

CeBaM online workshop "Refugees and Religious Tolerance in Europe: Plurality of of Perspectives

Aktualizacja: kwi 15

We invite you to participate in online workshop "Refugees and Religious Tolerance in Europe: Plurality of Perspectives" on April 21st 2021, 14.00-17.30 CET


Everyone is welcome and you can register here: https://forms.gle/DKKkPgY7UJKU8qzy9


More information:


Facilitating Religious Tolerance and Interfaith Dialogue in Local Communities

Izabella Main, Elżbieta M. Goździak, and Izabela Kujawa


Religion took center stage in the recent ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe. In the increasingly secularized Europe, religion, paradoxically, has gained or regained significance in many policy and public debates. Using our empirical research, we discuss the use of religion to other refugees and migrants and present the efforts informed by religious and secular values to solidarize with and assist refugees and migrants in Poland and in Hungary. We also debate the ways, in which religious tolerance is part of the imaginaries and experiences of refugees based in Turkey and those who are in the process of resettlement from Turkey to the EU. Izabella Main, Elżbieta M. Goździak, and Izabela Kujawa are affiliated with the Center for Migration Studies at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. They are part of the NOVAMIGRA research team.


Contested Conversions and the Production of Belief

Annelise Reid


The increased number of refugees seeking asylum in Europe since 2015 brought an increase in asylum claims based on conversion to Christianity. Many of these converts are Persian speaking refugees from Iran and Afghanistan. The entanglement of conversion with asylum has brought to the fore issues of what counts as a sincere conversion.’ The (re)definition of what counts as religious conversion is meant to separate the deserving’ refugees from the `undeserving’ economic migrants. In the process of defining these categories, the Dutch Immigration Services (IND) engages with academic and religious specialists. These discussions result in a Protestant framing of religion and conversion and lead to particular policies and regulations.

Knowledge about religion is transferred to asylum case managers in the form of policy documents, workshops and meetings. As a response to the asymmetrical relationship between the IND and those claiming asylum, refugees learn to narrate their experiences in ways that resonate with the IND’s framework. However, as my empirical research shows, the lived realities of refugees are often much more complex. In my presentation, I focus on the ways particular definitions of religious conversion emerge at the level of the IND and how they affect refugees’ lived experiences and shape how asylum is negotiated.

Annelise Reid is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Utrecht University.


Mere Tolerance Instead of Political Equality. The Fortification of Majority Cultures as a Challenge to Freedom of Religion

Christoph Baumgartner


In this presentation, I explore how the democratic ideal of freedom of religion is put under pressure in the context of political controversies about migration and refugees. Despite the significant unchurching of societies like Germany and the Netherlands, right-wing political parties and civil society organizations have mobilized Christianity to push back the public presence of Islam. The culturalization and heritagization of this process plays an important role. I argue that freedom of religion replaced by an understanding of religious tolerance hampers social inclusion and political equality of all members of democratic and religiously pluralistic societies.


Christoph Baumgartner is Associate Professor of Ethics at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University.


Refugees and Religion – Mobilizing Theory

Birgit Meyer


In this presentation, I will introduce some basic ideas from the volume Refugees and Religion (edited by Peter van der Veer and myself). First, I will problematize the framing of the arrival of refugees and migrants in terms of a ‘crisis’ and situate this arrival in a longer history of the production and accommodation of refugees of different faiths in Europe. Second, I will discuss the tensions that arise between national frameworks aimed at accommodating refugees and long-standing patterns of coexistence, on the one hand, and the ways in which religion transcends such regulations. Thirdly, I will ask how to mobilize theory in order to transcend the sedentary categories that still ground social analysis of people on the move.


Birgit Meyer is professor of Religious Studies at Utrecht University where she chairs the research project Religious Matters in an Entangled World www.religiousmatters.nl


This workshop, part of the NOVAMIGRA project, is co-organized by the Center for Migration Studies (CeBaM) in Poznan, Poland and Utrecht University’s Focus Area ‘Migration and Societal Change’.


This workshop is organized as part of the NOVAMIGRA project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 770330.