Building a culture of empathy and understanding towards people who have been forced to flee from their homes is a common goal of many people, regardless of their religion or belief.
The concept of ‘sanctuary’ however has its roots in Jewish and Christian tradition and practice as a place where strangers and fugitives are offered safety and protection.
The word ‘sanctuary’ has its origins in the Latin sanctus: holy. And so by working to promote sanctuary we are all contributing to a holiness – of a community and a society which prioritises the common good.
The City of Sanctuary movement is a UK-wide charity which seeks to promote a culture of sanctuary – either as a city wide project, or as a local authority, or a village, town, school or place of worship.
Join (or start) an Interfaith group, information from Interfaith Scotland.
Participate in or hold an event during Refugee Festival Scotland (usually late June and early July), or other events including the Just Festival, Solas, Take One Action film festival, GRAMNet events, Interfaith Week, One World Week and so on.
Think about your place of worship; What are you doing to remember refugees? What are you doing to build bridges with neighbours from different national, racial and religious backgrounds? One practical suggestion from the Jewish tradition (but open to all) is Mitzvah Day
Are you involved in work in schools or community settings? How could you use these opportunities to promote a culture of sanctuary with young people or in wider society. Could you work with the Scottish Community Development Centre or Scottish Development Education Centres?