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About Forum RGOW

Forum RGOW – Religion & Society in East and West provides knowledge about Eastern Europe and supports socially disadvantaged groups and individuals in the region. Forum RGOW promotes dialogue between East and West on three levels: We provide information on current developments in Eastern Europe, we support local social projects, and we advise on issues relating to the coexistence and co-operation of religious cultures in Europe.

Our work is supported by private individuals, Swiss churches, and foreign partners. In our information work, we cooperate with universities and other educational institutions mainly in German-speaking countries.

Our Vision
Our aim is for all people to live together in peace, freedom, and justice.

Our Mission

  • We provide specialised knowledge and skills about the societies and religious communities in Eastern Europe, in particular the Orthodox churches.
  • We support socially disadvantaged groups and individuals in Eastern European countries so that they can permanently improve their living conditions.
  • We are committed to promoting respect for human rights and religious freedom.
  • We promote ecumenical cooperation between churches and interreligious dialogue.
  • We promote initiatives for exchange and reconciliation.
  • We connect individuals and organisations in East and West.

Our values

  • We give space to different perspectives from East and West.
  • We work with our partner organisations in solidarity and on an equal footing.
  • We maintain long-term and sustainable project partnerships on the basis of helping people to help themselves.
  • We act with ecumenical and interreligious openness.

Our monthly journal Religion & Society in East and West provides information in German on current affairs and events in Eastern Europe. From Albania to Russia, from the Baltic states to Central Asia, political, social, and cultural developments are analysed. The journal focuses in particular on churches and religious communities in Eastern, Central Eastern and South-eastern Europe as well as on ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Each issue of RGOW deals with a key topic from a comparative perspective (e.g. migration, religion and art or environmental policy) or concentrates on a single country or region. RGOW also draws attention to important new publications.

The authors of Religion & Society in East and West include experts from churches, academia, and journalism. The journal is committed to pluralist reporting that aims to foster understanding between East and West. A large part of the contributions is translated from Eastern European languages.

Accessible but scholarly, Religion & Society in East and West is written for a broad and educated readership interested in the situation of the Churches and religious societies of our Eastern neighbours. It is read throughout the German-speaking world by scholars, people involved in interfaith dialogue and people interested in international developments.

Forum RGOW’s development cooperation is guided by the principles, which are set out in the mission statement: exchange on an equal footing with our project partners, long-term engagement, and ecumenical openness.

Our development cooperation focuses on Ukraine, Russia, and Poland. Our project partners in Eastern Europe include both religious and non-religious organisations.

In order to ensure an efficient and sustainable development of the individual projects, we are in permanent close contact with local project managers, many of whom are women. A large part of the work is performed by volunteers, whose commitment is a sign of Christian solidarity with the weak. We offer reliable long-term support for our project partners so that exemplary structures do not lose their financial basis overnight.