The protection of places of worship has become crucial as these public spaces continue to represent high-risk areas in the context of criminal activities, man-made attacks, as well as infrastructural incidents and natural disasters.

During its 24 months of implementation and with an overall budget of €1.5M, the ISF-funded project SHRINEs – GA n. 101100431 has the ambition of enhancing the security and safety of places of worship, while creating an interfaith and multidisciplinary network to raise awareness of the current risks and threats in places of worship. In support to the SHRINEs Consortium composed by 10 partners, including 4 religious organisations (i.e., Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant), a multidisciplinary involvement of additional actors, including public and private entities, academic institutions, Law Enforcement Agencies, and further religious groups will contribute to the identification of innovative technological solutions and effective mitigation measures.

Against this backdrop, religious communities, Law Enforcement Agencies and Public Authorities will be engaged during the project to assess risk factors, perception of threats, exchange on capabilities and to discuss opportunities of cooperation for the protection of places of worship. Furthermore, tech developers will be involved in identifying the exploitation of innovative technologies for the protection of places of worship, and their operational deployment in existing facilities.

Discussions between key representatives from religious communities, tech developers and public institutions will lead to the identification of four real-life case studies where suitable technological applications can be exploited to further enhance the safety and security of places of worship.

In order to identify the most effective solutions to counteract the above risks, and raise awareness on the existing threats, a Hackathon event “Tech for SHRINEs will be organized in Assisi – Italy, where a Committee of Experts will select the most appropriate technological solution. The Hackathon will outline how innovative applications of the most advanced technologies in the field of Safety and Security can significantly increase the protection of places of worship and their visitors. 

SAFE’s contribution is fundamental as Project Coordinator and facilitator between religious and technical partners, as well as all stakeholders promoting the establishment of SHRINEs long-lasting international interfaith and multidisciplinary dialogue that will increase awareness on the importance of protecting places of worship. The network will constitute of a unique platform for interfaith collaboration to enhance prevention and response capabilities against external and internal threats which may undermine the security of the places of worship and EU citizens overall.