Democracy and participation, Civic education

A true enemy: the domination of emotions

Many Christians fight liberalism, which is – according to the conspirators and populists – the main threat. However, the real enemy is often something else – the way how we sense the information.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Ondrej Druga

Kresťania proti nenávisti

https://krestaniaprotinenavisti.sk/

Slovakia

Who is joining forces?

Slovenský evanjelikálny inštitút/Slovak evangelical institute

http://www.sevin.sk

Slovakia


Idea

Idea pitch

The main challenge of this project is to create an interdisciplinary education program in range of 2-8 hours (a quarter-, half- or a whole-day seminary) focused on improvement of resistance of believers against desinformation and political misusing of Christianity.

Where will your project idea take place?

We will realize this project in selected Christian communities of Slovakia and via on-line platform.

What is the local challenge?

In Slovakia there are many cultural wars taking place. The most significant among them is the conflict between conservatives and liberals (or Christians and atheists). This conflict has many consequences, but as the most critical among them we consider increase of hate speech in Slovak public space.
In this situation many populist and extremist politicians use the pseudo-christian and populist rhetoric, thanks to what they gained support of an appreciable part of Slovak Christians.
In order to prevent this situation we have to improve the level of critical thinking of believers – above all on field of media and policy. We want to focus our project above all on the priests and leaders of Christian communities.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

• We will mobilize that part of believers, which was until now active only in the church communities and passive concerning the public civic problems
• Through education discussions about related problems we will decrease the degree of irrational fear towards European Union and liberal democracy
• Through these discussions we will decrease the umber of believers, who support the anti-system, extremist and fascist movements
• We will increase the solidarity of believers towards the socially disadvantaged communities
• We will organize common events for the believers and atheists on the local level

Who are you doing it for?

We will focus most of our acivities on the Christian communities. However, from their result should benefit also other groups on local and regional level.
After completing of our course should substantially decrease the support of extremist movements and of the authoritative interpretation of Christianity among the priests and leaders in Christian communities, contrarily, the number of pro-democratic oriented personalities should increase.
From the intended common Christian-atheist local events should in the form of decrease of mutual prejudices benefit whole location.
The awareness raising about social justice and solidarity should help the poverty-prone groups – above all the marginalized Roma communities. These events should also contribute to weakening of the prejudices.

How do you plan to get there?

●Formation of educational program in cooperation with specialists of particular
fields
● First presentation of the program for the Baptist preachers
● Implementation of experiences from the first presentation
● Adaptation of the course for the Catholic priests – taking into consideration of
opinion and education specifics
● Adaptation for the youth leaders
● Summarization of failures and successes and based on that, choosing a convenient method for the on-line output of the project

What are the expected results?

• Number of believers feeling irrational fear of EU, liberalism and minorities will decrease
• Number of believers supporting extremist, fascist and populist movements using pseudo-Christian rhetoric will decrease
• Selected Christian communities will focus their energy on solving simple local and regional problems, also on the problems of social justice
• In several locations, we will start a dialogue between believers and atheists

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

● Improved resistance of believers against hoaxes, extremists and populists
● Decrease of the irrational fear of EU, liberalism, minorities, refugees and Muslims
● More conservatives and Christians will again realize the value of democracy and free pluralistic society

What is your story?

• Rise of hate speech in Slovakia
• Very successful abusing of Christian values by the populists, extremists and fascist
• A huge amount of social energy is wasted on cultural, ethic and moral conflicts – a big part of it could be redirected to other problems (on local, regional and national level), where is a big chance to bring visible generally respected results

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

• Preparation of the program: 5000 €
• A pilot course – an 8-hours seminary for Baptists with 2 external experts: 1000 €
• Preparation and realization of 4 seminaries for Catholic priests: 5000 €
• Preparation and realization of 4 seminaries for Christian youth leaders, assistance by the realization of 10 discussions in selected communities: 5000 €
• Creation of online platform of the course: 10 000 €
• The project administrator fee: 24 000 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are looking for other initiatives who also work on deradicalization among conservatives and Christians - we are open to share.

Team

Ondrej Druga

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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