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The Scottish Executive and Glasgow City Council have funded research to look at how Glasgow City Council and faith communities work together, and how different faith communities relate to one another. The findings from the study will be used by the new Inter Faith Liaison Officer to support faith communities in the Glasgow City Council area. Seven faith communities were involved in this research. These were the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Baha'i, Sikh and Hindu communities.
A summary of the main findings are:
- Faith communities felt that it was important to engage with Glasgow City Council.
- Many people from faith communities are highly skilled and have a lot to contribute to life in Glasgow, such as providing practical support to people in need.
- Some people from faith communities felt that members of staff from Glasgow City Council were unaware of particular religious or cultural needs.
- Many faith communities thought that Glasgow City Council only involved them in consultations as a 'token' representative.
- Most faith communities do not know about different Council services or how to access them.
- Some faith communities wanted Council information supplied in a range of different languages.
- Many people thought that attacks or abuse because of someone's religion had increased since the terrorist attacks on 9/11. People who wore religious dress or other symbols were thought to be most in danger of abuse. (This research was completed before the 7/7 terrorist attacks).
- A number of faith communities think that they are actively engaged in inter faith activities. However, in certain cases, some faith communities express a reluctance to engage in inter faith work. Barriers to inter faith work are seen as a lack of vision, willingness or leadership to develop strong inter faith relationships.
A full copy of the research report, and research findings summary can be accessed at www.scotland.gov.uk/faithcommunitiesglasgow. This includes information on the numbers of people in each faith community, in Glasgow.
Working with faith communities
In August 2005 Glasgow City Council appointed Tom Harrigan MBE as Inter Faith Liaison Officer. Tom's role is to work with the faith communities and Glasgow City Council in order to develop a deeper and mutual understanding of the issues that matter to the faith communities within the city.
Following on from this research, Tom and the research team will be holding a number of seminars across the city with the faith communities to look at the findings of the research and to discuss any other issues that are important for Glasgow City Council and different faith communities to work together.
If you would like more information on these seminars, including dates and venues, or if you would just like to speak to Tom about how Glasgow City Council and faith communities can work together, please contact him at:
Glasgow City Council
St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
2 Castle Street
Glasgow G4 0RH
T: 0141 553 2557
Further copies of this leaflet are available from Tom Harrigan, Glasgow City Council, and Louise McAspurren at the Scottish Executive:
Social Justice (Equalities) Research
1-F, Victoria Quay, EH6 6QQ
T: 0131 244 7571
If you require this leaflet in any other format please contact Louise McAspurren at the Scottish Executive.
All photographs are taken from Glasgow and Scottish inter faith, or other faith events. They were supplied by the Scottish Inter Faith Council.