On 17 and 18 September, the seventh edition of the Barcelona Night of Religions (Nit de les Religions) will take place. In this seventh edition, under the subtitle “Faiths and Beliefs in Dialogue”, there will be around fifty activities spread across the whole of Barcelona and organised by places of worship and organisations of different faiths, which will offer talks, workshops, concerts, performances and guided tours, among other activities.
The main objective of the Night of Religions is to generate and promote a space for meeting, mutual knowledge and dialogue between the citizens and the faiths and religious communities and entities of Barcelona. There will be two days of open doors and dialogue with the participation of some fifty communities and entities from different religious traditions and convictions: Christians of different denominations, Muslims, Jewish, Buddhists, Bahá’ís, Hindus, Hindus, Sikhs, Scientologists, other beliefs and non-religious.
As in previous editions, it will be a day to get to know and interact with the plurality of convictions, spiritual traditions and denominations of the city’s residents. The two previous editions were adapted to the reality marked by a context of a health crisis as a result of covid-19, but this time it is back to being fully face-to-face (only one activity will be virtual).
The initiative, which is supported by Barcelona City Council and the “La Caixa” Foundation, is organised by the UNESCO Association for Interreligious and Interconvictional Dialogue (AUDIR), with the leadership of its youth group.
Through interreligious, inter-convictional and intercultural dialogue, the Night of Religions highlights the fact that religious plurality enriches Barcelona’s identity and plays a part in it. The proposal aims to generate a meeting and dialogue point between the citizens of Barcelona and religious communities and organisations of different beliefs. The Night of Religions also seeks to break down prejudices and stereotypes that are the source of various forms of discrimination and to promote the values of the culture of peace.
“The diversity of beliefs and convictions is a heritage of our society and, when accompanied by respect and dialogue, it is a pillar on which to build a fairer and more egalitarian society,” says Arnau Oliveres, co-director of AUDIR. He adds that “‘The Night of Religions, Faiths and Beliefs in Dialogue’ is an event that promotes the meeting and inclusive dialogue, which aims to be a space that allows us to get to know the diversity of our country and to combat prejudices, stereotypes and discourses that promote hatred, showing the contributions of traditions to shared humanity”.
For his part, Khalid Ghali, Commissioner for Intercultural Dialogue and Religious Pluralism of Barcelona City Council, stressed “the importance of a plural and diverse city like Barcelona having an event like La Nit de les Religions, an annual event which, now in its sixth year, is consolidating its position as a proposal to raise awareness and bring the diversity of beliefs and convictions present in the city closer to its citizens”. He emphasises that this initiative “generates spaces and opportunities for meeting and dialogue, breaks down stereotypes and prejudices and enriches the whole of citizenship”.
The inaugural event will take place on 17 September at 12 noon, in the Sala d’Actes of the Centre Cívic Cotxeres de Sants (Carrer de Sants, 79). Among others, Mr Khalid Ghali Bada, Commissioner for Intercultural Dialogue and Religious Pluralism of the Barcelona City Council, and Ms Montse Castellà, President of AUDIR, will speak. Afterwards, the group “Rumba Nois” will offer a Catalan rumba concert, with explanations about the origin of the gipsy population and the Catalan rumba, and a hand-clapping workshop.
Of all the activities organised in this edition, the guided tours around different parts of the city stand out, as well as the themed tours, which over the previous six editions have been very successful and have been consolidating and increasing in number. Some of them, as in previous editions, are organised by Interreligious Dialogue Groups in Barcelona*. All of them will take place on Saturday 17 September and require prior registration. In this edition we find:
- Guided tour of Barcelona’s cemeteries: guided tour of the Montjuïc cemetery, a reflection of the city.
- Route of the gipsy memory and the Catalan rumba at the Ecomuseu Urbà Gitano de Barcelona.
- Guided tour of the Grup de Diàleg Interreligiós de Gràcia: visit to the Parròquia de Verge de Gràcia i Sant Josep, the Dojo Zen Ryokan and the Església Evangèlica Baptista de Gràcia.
- Guided tour of the Grup de Diàleg Interreligiós de Nou Barris: visit to the Mesquita Yamaat Ahmadia, the Parròquia Sant Sebastià and the Església Evangèlica Unida de Barcelona.
- Guided tour of the Eixample: visit the Church of Scientology of Barcelona and the Brahma Kumaris centre, both offering a workshop.
- Guided tour of the Grup Interreligiós del Raval: visit to the Mesquita Tarek Ibn Ziad and the Centre Filipí Tuluyán-San Benito.
Freedom of conscience and worship and its recognition in the city is fundamental. And in order for freedom of conviction and conscience to be truly possible, it is necessary to work within the framework of laicism, so that all worldviews and options of conscience (religious and non-religious) meet and cooperate on an equal footing. But beyond the right to express one’s faith, religious and conscientious bodies and traditions bring incalculable wealth and value to a city like Barcelona. They form part of a common good, a historical good, a cultural and human good that must be guaranteed and preserved.
So, on 17 and 18 September, there will be two days to discover the different religions, cultures and convictions of Barcelona. A day for believers and non-believers, for coexistence and enjoyment.
You can consult the PROGRAMME of all the activities HERE (it will be updated).
You can follow all the news on social networks through #nitreligions2022.
*Interreligious Dialogue Groups (IDGs) are meeting places where people with different beliefs and convictions in a specific territory come together with the aim of enhancing the value and visibility of religious pluralism in the city, defending the right to religious freedom, freedom of thought and conscience, breaking down prejudices between traditions and improving social cohesion in the territory. The objectives of the GDI are: to promote mutual understanding, and dialogue between confessions and beliefs, establish alliances and common projects in the territory, and make themselves known to the rest of the population. The GDI programme is promoted by Barcelona City Council and managed by AUDIR.