SPIRIT: Enhancement of security measures for religious sites. Completion of phase A

The European Union-funded SPIRIT project proudly announces the successful completion of its first phase: a series of vulnerability assessments at various places of worship. This pivotal phase culminated in a final Vulnerability Assessment (VA) workshop and a significant dissemination event at the Great Mosque of Rome on January 30, 2024, organized by the European Islamic Association (EIA) in collaboration with the Islamic Cultural Center and the SPIRIT consortium.

This significant gathering united diverse religious leaders, policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and academics to discuss the enhancement of security measures for religious sites. The dissemination event featured influential speakers including Imam El Rafaey El Shahat Abd Rabou Issa of the Great Mosque of Rome, Rabbi Scialom Bahbout of the Jewish Community of Rome, and Monsignor Jean Marie Gervais representing the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, who shared insights on the security vulnerabilities faced by religious venues. Highlighting recent incidents, they emphasized the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to protect these communities.

Policymakers such as Prefect Lamberto Giannini and Laura Lega from the Ministry of Interior, along with experts like Nikolaos Lalazisis from KEMEA, contributed to the discourse, focusing on the importance of vulnerability assessments and the role of LEAs in preventive security measures.

Keynote contributions from policymakers and experts underscored the critical role of vulnerability assessments and proactive law enforcement in ensuring the safety of religious gatherings.

Special thanks and gratitude are extended to Dr. Massimo Cozzolino from the EIA for his exceptional organization and coordination of this beautifully well-organized event at such a symbolic place. Dr. Cozzolino’s efforts in bringing together a diverse array of stakeholders in a dynamically changing international sociopolitical environment were instrumental in the success of this gathering.

As SPIRIT advances, it remains dedicated to promoting unity, understanding, and enhanced security for religious communities globally. Further updates will share the project’s ongoing efforts towards a safer future.

About SPIRIT

The SPIRIT project, funded by the European Union, is dedicated to enhancing the security of places of worship and religious mass gatherings. It focuses on identifying vulnerabilities and developing comprehensive strategies to mitigate risks. Through collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders, SPIRIT aims to foster a safer and more secure environment for all religious communities. Additionally, the project seeks to enhance preparedness and response capabilities by incorporating modern tools and applying security-by-design concepts, ensuring robust response capabilities against evolving threats.

For more information, please contact: https://spirit-isf.eu/

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