Religion in Cyprus: Mapping Cyprus’ New Religious Landscape

Led by Mete Hatay
Jan 2013 -

Apart from long-term work on the Muslim community in Cyprus, Hatay is working on issues related to coexistence and religion, as well as regarding new and minority religions in the island, many of which are related to migration. UN Special Rapporteur Heiner Beilefeldt's 2012 visit to Cyprus highlighted the need to recognize the complex nature of religion in Cyprus today, which goes beyond a "bi-communalism" that recognizes only the Greek Orthodox Church and Islam as important actors in peacebuilding. This project assumes that any efforts at interfaith dialogue in the island must take into account the other indigenous religious communities in the island; migrant communities which have brought their own beliefs to the island; and in the island's north, the large secular element of Turkish Cypriot society which opposes public expressions of faith.​

​Hatay participated in two important regional meetings on interfaith dialogue because of his work on religion in Cyprus. The "Seminar on Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention," sponsored by the Swedish Institute of Alexandria, took place in Alexandria, Egypt, in spring 2017 and brought together secular and religious leaders from Arab countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Participants included Amr Moussa, former Secretary-General of the Arab League.

Immediately after this meeting, Hatay participated in the "Societal Inclusion and Reconciliation: Two Pillars for Building a Better Future in Iraq" workshop in Beirut concluded yesterday. The event was organized by Gregory M. Reichberg from PRIO, Al Sayyed Salih Hakim from HCDC, and Ahmad Iravani from CSIME, with support from all three institutions. Participants came from almost all sects and religions in Iraq. All the sessions were chaired by Trond Bakkevig, pastor of the Church of Norway and Dean of Vestre Aker.

Hatay also co-authored, with Ali Dayıoğlu, their yearly chapter on Cyprus in the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, Volume 9, edited by Oliver Scharbrodt, et. al., and published by Brill Press (http://www.brill.com/products/book/yearbook-muslims-europe-volume-9#TOC_1).


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