The Libertas Center for interconfessional and interreligious dialogue is a non-profit organization which aims at promoting interconfessional and interreligious dialogue and understanding in Ukraine and abroad. By applying scholarly research and innovative thinking to interfaith issues, the Center aims at the objective of protecting the right to and the exercise of religious freedom, establishing connections among confessions and religions in the area of academic learning, respect, and cooperation in social projects.
What we do:
The Libertas Center promotes interfaith dialogue and understanding on an academic and practical level: academically, the Center organizes conferences, seminars and lectures where issues concerning and religions can be studied, learned, and brought into the public forum.
On the practical level, the Center’s goal is to engage in various social projects (relevant in the areas of human rights, business opportunities, freedom issues, protection of minorities, etc) involving members and leaders of different confessions and faiths for the sake of understanding, cooperating and promoting common human values in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society.
The Center was founded (and registered as an NGO) in 2013. The inauguration took place at the Lviv City Council with the presence of numerous religious and civil authorities from Ukraine. Keynote speakers from abroad included His Excellency Charles Morerod, Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Dr. Anthony Cernera.
Since the time of its creation, the Center has organized and hosted over 50 ecumenical and interreligious events. For our work in promoting dialogue, Libertas received 2 national awards (from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and from the Lviv Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and 2 international awards – from the Institute of Canadian Citizenship and the Intercultural Achievement Award from the Ministry of Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Austria).
Libertas is also part of the “High Standards of Journalism” national committee.
Among our initiatives with youth, we took part in 5 international youth exchanges through
+Erasmus (Georgia, Armenia, Germany, Italy). Most of our members and volunteers are aged 19- 35. The initiatives that targeted youth: capacity-building trainings, the school of interreligious journalism initiative, the annual events on the social entrepreneurship and social corporate responsibility of business. Such initiatives as Interfaith Poetry and Cinema Festivals gather mostly young people from the Abrahamic Faiths to express their faith in artistic ways.
Most recently, the Libertas Center for Interreligious Dialogue, in partnership with the Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Institute for Religion and Society of the Ukrainian Catholic University, launched its Dialogue Fellowship – a unique training program aimed at emerging community and religious leaders to learn about interfaith dialogue and cooperation.
The Program is dedicated to Bishop Basil H. Losten, Bishop-emeritus of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the U.S., who is celebrating his fiftieth anniversary of episcopacy this year. Bishop Losten and Rabbi Jack Bemporad worked together for Jewish-Christian dialogue in North America.
The Dialogue Fellowship, led by Dr. Taras Dzyubanskyy, Director of the Libertas Center for Interreligious Dialogue, aims at supporting individuals who demonstrate special interest in the theme of dialogue and the social doctrine of the Church and who want to further develop their leadership skills. It also aims to educate leaders of the Ukrainian society to confront contemporary challenges and strengthen their capacity for dialogue by empowering representatives of religious groups of the population, leaders of the civil society and representatives of the cultural field to work together and develop values-based approaches. The Dialogue Fellows will use networking that builds on faith and trust for transformative action in their communities.
The Dialogue Program targets a wide range of young leaders. Participants include theologians, religious and civic activists, scholars and educators, artists, journalists, and bloggers. The inaugural Program has a wide range of trainers and speakers including Myroslav Marynovych, Andriy Kostiuk, Anthony Cernera, Rabbi Bemporad and Murat Suleiman. You can find our annual bulletins here. Please also see our 5th Anniversary Publication to getacquainted with our initiatives and projects.