Our Story

Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees

Our heritage

Scotland is home to many diverse faith traditions. While each is distinct and unique, they share many of the same common values: hospitality, kindness, and the inherent dignity of each individual. Over many years faith communities have continually put those values into practice by welcoming refugees and asylum seekers that have come to Scotland seeking sanctuary.

In 2015, in the face of a growing global humanitarian crisis, leaders from Scotland’s faith communities committed to working in partnership to support refugees coming to Scotland. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and interfaith groups came together under the firm belief that by working together for the common good, by putting aside prejudices and agreeing to cross barriers of culture, language, religion and nationality, that faith communities can play a crucial role in making Scotland a welcoming country for refugees.

Our Work

From those early talks came Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees (SFAR), a multi-faith project committed to ensuring that Scotland’s faith communities speak together in their support for refugees. Since then we have run a diverse program including:

Since 2021 SFAR has partnered with Faith in Community Scotland to run the Faithful Welcome programme, providing support and resources to local faith groups across Scotland. Included in this is a small grants fund that can be used for projected themed around offering hospitality, easing integration and enabling participation.

Our Future

Sadly, the number of refugees around the world has continued to grow since SFAR was founded. It is more important than ever that Scotland’s faith traditions play their part in making Scotland is a safe place where refugees and asylum seekers feel welcomed and included.

SFAR will continue to resource local faith groups seeking to welcome New Scots. We will campaign on issues important to refugees and asylum seekers, in particular advocating for a fairer and more just asylum system and the end of policies such as the ban on working. And we will provide an ongoing forum for Scotland’s different faith traditions to work in collaboration with one another.