Religion, Forced Migration and Movement: CRPL Research Day, 19th June 2017 – ALL WELCOME

All are welcome to a Centre for Religion and Public Life Research Day on Religion, Forced Migration and Movement, being held on the 19th June 2017, 9.30- 5pm, Liberty Building G33, School of Law, University of Leeds, LS29JT .

Free lunch – please RSVP to Dr Caroline Starkey (

Many people who move countries, either voluntarily or via force, are committed to religious traditions that they then transport to a new location. Some forced migrants have had to leave their homes due to their ethnic and religious affiliations, many draw upon their religious traditions to help them cope with such a life changing transition and for others religion can provide a starting point for building links and a new identity in a foreign location. Religions in the host country also play a significant role in both facilitating and obstructing migratory transitions. Practical and ‘spiritual’ support is provided by faith based organisations and places of worship for new migrants. However, the religion of migrants can also mark them out for abuse and prejudicial treatment, based upon nationalist constructions of acceptable ethnic and religious affiliations. In an era of increased forced migration in Europe, as a product of the current refugee crisis as well as increasing levels of trafficking of children, women and men, this research day seeks to explore the multifaceted role that religion plays in this domain.


9.30-10: Coffee/tea

10-10.15: Introduction: Professor Emma Tomalin, University of Leeds

10.15 – 11.45 Session 1 The role of faith based organisations

10.15-10.45 Dr Gwyneth Lonergan (University of Sheffield) – Faith, neoliberal citizenship, and third sector support for migrants

10.45-11.15 – Dr Hannah Lewis (University of Sheffield), Professor Emma Tomalin and Dr Louise Waite (University of Leeds) – Understanding the Role of Faith Based Organisations in Anti-Trafficking

11.15-11.45 – discussion

11.45-12 coffee/tea

12-1 Session 2 Keynote presentation

Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh  (Reader in Human Geography & Co-Director of UCL’s Migration Research Unit) – tbc

1-1.45 – lunch

1.45-2.45 Session 3 Keynote presentation

Dr Erin Wilson (Director of the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain, at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen) Religion, Secularism and the Politics of the Refugee Crisis

2.45-3: Coffee/tea

3-5 Session 4: Practitioner and community perspectives: A round-table showcase and discussion of issues facing community work in migration and forced migration in Leeds and neighbouring areas, including the work of:

Fidelis Neba Chebe – Migrant Action (, Mary Brandon – Leeds City of Sanctuary (, Saima Afzal – Saima Afzal Solutions (


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