The National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland (CORE)
brings together three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Its purpose is to foster peace in the Finnish society in the spirit of strengthening religious freedom and through promotion of inter-religious dialogue, equality, mutual respect and cooperation. Through its action the Forum aims to create an understanding of religions as a positive resource rather than a source of conflict in society. It works to diminish prejudices and fears towards representatives of another culture or religion.
The CORE Forum was founded in 2011. Its founding members are: The Central Council Jewish Communities in Finland, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, the Finnish Ecumenical Council, the Finnish Islamic Congregation (the Tatar community), and the Islamic Council of Finland (SINE).
The founding of CORE is the outcome of some ten years of informal discussions between leaders of Finland’s main religious groups. After the tragic events of 9/11/2001 in New York, former President Tarja Halonen also played a role in inviting the religious leaders to meet regularly. In 2007 a seminar was organized at the Hanasaari Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre under the theme” Religions in the Finnish Society”, leading to the creation of the association CORE.
The CORE Forum has issued a number of statements and declarations. A Joint Declaration on Children’s Right to the Sacred, commemorating the UN Convention of Rights of the Children 20 years Jubilee, and a Joint Statement on Freedom of Religion are available in English on our website. In 2012 a large seminar on Hate Speech and how to counteract it was held for representatives of the media, the public authorities and religious leaders. A Net Calendar of Holy Days of the three religions has been a major project. With a click of a mouse it gives each Holy Day of Judaism, Christianity and Islam its meaning and the way of it is celebrated in Finland. The calendar exists in Finnish, English and Swedish. It is currently being translated into Arabic and Russian. The calendar can be found at . Recently the CORE Forum has been active in influencing the future legislation regarding religious education, giving comments and making statements to the authorities in order to protect the right of especially minority children to receive this education based on their own religion. It has also actively participated in the public discussion about extremist religious movements, and has firmly taken a stand to support a multi-cultural and multi-religious Finland.
For International affiliation:
At the end of 2013 the CORE Forum was accepted as an affiliated member of the global network Religions for Peace (RfP). It is also member of the European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL).