House of Religions
The association “House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures “is an excellent and hitherto unique platform for different religious and cultural communities. Thanks to it, since 2001 the dialogue of cultures has become more acceptable to the people of the city of Berne, thereby strengthening mutual respect and peaceful co-existence.
„House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures” comprehends integration of different religious and cultural communities as a concrete social and socio-political process, which consists of informing the public, providing space for face-to-face encounters, encouraging equality and furthering cooperation between the faith communities. The "House of Religions" thus provides important support to the integration-work in the city.
“House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures” fosters the vital dialogue of cultures. Its innovative ways to do so attracts a lot of attention in the city of Berne, as well as the rest of Switzerland and beyond. It is because the differences between cultures and religions should be seen as an enrichment, rather than a limitation of human understanding, that the ”House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures” provides a dialogue which also explicitly embodies non-religiously founded value concepts such as Enlightenment and Human Rights. This openness is exemplary.
Every other year „House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures” organizes and accomplishes the „Fête KultuRel”, which is a festival where well-known public personalities, people from and around Berne, classes and teachers from different schools, and parents get actively involved. The festival “Fête KultuRel” enriches Berne’s cultural life. It sheds light on other religions' customs and rites, points out the needs of their believers and thereby builds bridges for integration.
In cooperation with the College for Higher Education in Social Work, the “House of Religions” conceived the curriculum “Moderation and Mediation in the intercultural and inter-religious dialogue”. Through seminars, exhibitions and educational activities, the “House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures” reveals the diversity of Berne’s cultural reality to the people. It also supports equal rights for and the legal integration of cultural and religious communities and encourages their socio-political participation.
Since 2002 it has also been planning the construction of a House of Religions in the city of Berne, in order to have a permanent place for its activities and to offer a homestead to the various faith communities. Through this planning process the association succeeded in making other - also non-religious - levels of society aware of the dialogue of cultures and, consequently, to the importance of Human Rights as a fundamental aspect of successful integration