Can Malmö learn from Freetown? : comparing the promotion and protection of religious tolerance

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Olsson, Marcus
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The purpose of this study is to identify and explain the main differences between the promotion and protection of religious tolerance in Freetown and Malmö. This study investigates to what extent Malmö can possibly draw inspiration from Freetown in order to increase religious tolerance. The idea behind this research comes from material collected regarding the situation of religious tolerance in both societies. Furthermore, former Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, recommended religious leaders, states and the international community to look at how Sierra Leone maintains its high level of religious tolerance. A framework connecting religious tolerance to human rights is used in order to understand the promotion and protection of the concept. The study analyses the promotion and protection of religious tolerance through four different levels connected to each city: international, state, municipality and civil society level. Data for this study was gathered from secondary sources and field trips to both cities, where interviews were conducted with persons involved in inter-religious work. The results of this research suggest that there is inspiration worth drawing from Freetown. However, the historical, cultural and demographic differences between the cities, are in general too great for Malmö to realistically increase religious tolerance by following the main methods of the promotion and protection in Freetown.
Second semester University: University of Southern Denmark / Danish Institute for Human Rights
freedom of religion, domestic and comparative politics, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Malmö, Sweden, tolerance