International conference “Current challenges and threats to places of worship in Europe”

International conference “Current challenges and threats to places of worship in Europe”

On 19th May, WSB University hosted an international conference entitled “Current challenges and threats to places of worship in Europe” in premisses of virtual studio. The conference was organised in the framework of an international project – ProSPeReS (Protection System for Large Gatherings of People in Religious Sites) under the European Union Internal Security Fund – Police as the third planned event of WP7, Security Awareness Rising Campaign. The international panel discussion was moderated by Prof. Adrian Siadkowski (AWSB) and aimed at raising awareness of the threats to places of worship and the challenges of ensuring their security from the perspective of different religions.

At the beginning of the conference, Rafał Batkowski, PhD – Key Expert of the ProSPeReS Project and the consortium leader representative from the University of Łódź (Poland), presented the composition of the consortium and the main objectives of the project. Next speaker was Ing. Pavel Truchly – WP7 leader and representative of ISEM Institute (Slovakia).  He introduced the Security awareness rising campaign strategy, main objectives of campaign, ways of communication and also awareness rising campaign products as leaflets, brochures and videos already accessible on project page.

The conference continued by presentation of Mr Ophir Revach – Chief Executive Office of the European Jewish Congress’ Security and Crisis Center (Belgium). Mr Revach presented the security challenges of synagogues in Europe. He emphasised that the extensive experience of the Jewish community in the protection of religious sites can also be implemented in other places of religious worship.

Timo Hellenberg, PhD – President of Hellenberg International (Finland), in his speech on “Current Challenges and threats to places of worship in Europe” presented the general problems of providing security protection in places of worship. The penultimate speaker, Mr Łukasz Grabowski, an expert from the Abikus company responsible for the technical security of the Jasna Góra Shrine (Poland), introduced the audience to the subject of contemporary challenges of ensuring security on the example of the Jasna Góra Shrine. The plenary session ended with a presentation of the results of a risk analysis of walking pilgrimages on the example of a pilgrimage from the Diocese of Sosnowiec presented by Łukasz Szymankiewicz, PhD.

The next part of the conference was a debate with all the participants. A very interesting part of the debate was a discussion with a guest from the Parish of Our Lady of La Palma (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Palma) – Rev. Dominik Kociołek, who spoke about his experience of the terrorist attack in Algeciras.

If you would like to know more about protecting a place of worship, please visit our website for useful materials:

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Protect and Secure Worship

At the “Protect and Secure Worship” International Conference in Nicosia, Cyprus, Marcin Podogrocki and Rafał Batkowski represented the Prosperes project during a panel discussion and various workshops. The conference was organised through Protecting places of worship and PROSECUW. Other EU Internal Security Fund – Police projects were present as well, introducing their findings and innovations at the conference.

Successful protection of places of worship is all about building intercultural and interreligious communities, and collaborative effort. By doing so, places of worship become better protected and more resilient, whilst still remaining the welcoming spaces that they have been for centuries.



Online conference “Current Challenges and threats to places of worship in Europe”

We are delighted to invite you to attend the online Prosperes conference “Current Challenges and threats to places of worship in Europe” which will be held on 19th May 2023 from 10:00 -13.00 CET, from virtual studio of AWSB in Dabrowa, Poland. The aim of our conference is raising awareness of the threats to places of religious worship and discuss the challenges of ensuring their security from the perspective of different religions. We look forward to welcoming you and would be grateful if you could register your attendance at Link: before 15th May 2023. The web link to online steaming is to be send to registered participants on 17th May 2023. More information can be found in the invitation

ProSPeReS meeting and the networking event with stakeholders in Nicosia, Cyprus


On November 29th-30th, 2022, the consortium partners met in Nicosia, CY at the General Assembly meeting complemented by a successful networking meeting with stakeholders in a form of panel discussion “Protection of Religious Sites from Terrorist Attacks”. The events were organized by CARDET – Center for the Advancement of Research & Development in Educational Technology and University of Lodz.

The consortium meeting allows partners to monitor the project progress, the development of the results and to plan the next activities till the end of the project in November 2023. Currently, the works are focused on completing WP3: Preparing the tailor-made security measures for religious sites and WP4: Preparedness for CBRN protection. The main results including: Report on best practices, gaps and needs, Security by design guidebook for religious sites, Guidebook with procedures and tools to prevent, protect, respond and mitigate the result of the terrorist attack as well as Guidelines with basic information on CBRN threats and scenarios collection with reactions’ models. The set of the measures including user-friendly tools like VAT Lite for vulnerability assessment, CBRN scenarios models to identify relevant preventive and response measures or the checklist and the tools to identify gaps in the current protection in the places of worship. The results will be available soon for free use by everyone interested in increasing the protection of places of worship.

The partners discussed the next step about preparing the training materials and conduct the pilot training and large-scale exercises as well as activities and events of the Awareness Rising Campaign. Follow the progress of ProSPeReS on LinkedIn , Facebook , Twitter or YouTube Channel.

Workshop with representatives of faith-based institutions, The Hague on October 26-27, 2022.

The work of the consortium partners of the ProSPeReS project is in progress. The innovative ProSPeReS project aiming at enhancing the security at places of worship, funded by the European Union, has entered the consultation phase, in which it is necessary to obtain the feedback from representatives of religious communities. This time, experts from partners 6 EU countries met in The Hague, the Netherlands at the workshop organized by DISSS , to present the current project’s developments in measures for increasing the protection and discuss it with the “end-users”. Experts, representatives of services responsible for security and public order as well as leaders of religious communities discussed the prepared recommendations for reducing the possibility of unwanted incidents at places of worship – taking into account the risks associated with a potential terrorist attack.

On the first day, leaders of the activities in WP3: Preparing the tailor-made security measures for religious sites and WP4: Preparedness for CBRN protection presented the guidelines, procedures, recommendations and tools elaborated in the project. Then , during the interactive part the participants discussed issues related to administration and management of the religious sites, preparing effective ways to respond to a security threats and designing a secure space for worshippers and pointed out gaps and weaknesses in existing solutions. The lively discussion was accompanied by a search for effective ways to mitigate actual and potential threats. The invited guests, who were leaders and representatives  of religious communities, including the Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Jewish Communities, the Evangelic Church in Finland and Muslim Communities  expressed their opinions on the implemented solutions. The workshop provided several valuable insights, which will be taken into account at a further stage of the ongoing work.

On the second day of the session, a working meeting of the coordinators of the various work packages was held, at which they discussed, among other things, the shape of the future guide containing a set of recommendations, which are especially dedicated for the administrators of religious facilities. Then the workshop participants had the opportunity to visit religious facilities in The Hague, which is a multi-religious city inhabited by representatives of various religions.



The meeting in The Hague at HSD (SecurityDelta)

In this week, Rafał Batkowski a key expert in the ProSPeReS project attended a meeting in The Hague at HSD (SecurityDelta). The event was part of the EU I-Lead Industry & Research Days organized by the Polish Platform for Homeland Security (PPBW) in cooperation with ENLETS and the Dutch Police. In addition to the presentation of many of the latest security technologies, it was also a time of extremely fruitful discussions and deliberations – including the participation of the vice mayor of The Hague and the deputy chief of the Dutch police. The visit is related to the implementation of the PROSPERES project, which aims to search for the best methods of protecting public places from terrorist threats.


An extensive Stakeholder Workshop was held in Tallinn, Estonia, from August 29 to September 1, 2022. The purpose of the events was to raise awareness among Estonians about the goals and results of the ISFP EU – Prossperes project. The project was represented at the event on behalf of the Project Leader by Pro Dean Prof. Michal Bijak, University of Lodz, Prof. Adrian Siadkowski WSB University and CEO Dr. Timo Hellenberg, Hellenberg International.

The project’s goals and available products for stakeholders and end users were presented at meetings at the Estonian Ministry of Culture, where Anne-Ly Reimaa, head of international relations, received the project delegation, and at St. Mary’s Cathedral (Toomkirik) with Dean Arho Tuhkru.

ProSPeReS project participated in inauguration ceremony of the Church of St. Paisios, in Ioannina, Greece

On July 11, 2022, in continuation of the previous research activity, ProSPeReS was proudly present at the opening (inauguration) ceremony and visitation of the newly constructed (2020) Church of St. Paisios, in Ioannina, Greece.

The ceremony was attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Athens (and all of Greece) Ieronymos (Jerome), Metropolitan Maximos of Ioannina (head of ProSPeReS’ partners Holy Metropolis of Ioannina), and partners of the ProSPeReS project, in particular representatives of the Greek police and the KEMEA institute (Center for Security Studies).

In this church, within the framework of ProSPeReS’ Work Package (WP2) activities, a vulnerability assessment (VA) workshop was conducted in January 2022. Its main purpose was the identification of security gaps against terrorist attacks and the discussion of applicable measures for increasing its protection during high-profile religious events.

The purpose of the visit was to observe the setting in and around the Church, the security measures employed by the local stakeholders, and the general operations during such high-profile ceremonies. Regarding the security measures in place, it was very pleasing to see that some of them stemmed from the discussions held with the local stakeholders (incl. Holy Metropolis of Ioannina, Police, Fire Brigade, Civil Protection and Emergency Health Services) during January’s VA workshop and that ProSPeReS’ activities contributed to raising the protection the religious site.

Work on the project is ongoing. Stay tuned!

ProSPeReS 3rd project’s consortium meeting in Athenes

On May 24th -25th, 2022, the meeting of the Prosperes consortium partners took place in Athens, Greece. The meeting was organized by the University of Lodz and KEMEA (Center for Security Studies).

Partners associated in the international consortium presented and discussed the results of the work conducted so far and planned the next steps in the project. The outcomes of completed tasks of Workpackage 2 Vulnerability Assessment & Needs Analysis of religious sites were presented including the results of vulnerability assessment workshops of selected sites, additional case studies visits and the summary report that should be available soon at the project website. The experts from 6 countries of the European Union (Poland, Cyprus, Greece, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovakia) representing scientific environment, practitioners of state services and representatives of faith-based institutions discussed existing gaps in security systems, the ways of their correction and terrorist threats that may arise in places of worship. The consortium had the opportunity to learn more about the European Commission initiatives in the field of protection of places of worship i.e. about the other ISFP projects or publication related to the scope of Prosperes as well as to discuss the implementation of the project due to participation in the meeting the representatives of DG Home & Migration.

The meeting was a very good opportunity to present the current status of the works and planning future activities to be conducted in all work packages as it was the first face-to-face consortium meeting. The gaps&needs analysis phase is close to the conclusion, so currently the consortium will focus on tasks related on preparing the tailor-made security measures for religious sites and preparedness to CBRN protection. In the next phase the training materials including the VR appliance will be prepared and the training and exercises will take place.

Stay tuned. The work of the consortium is ongoing.