Currently, there are more than 1.2 million Muslims in Ukraine, accounting for 3.4% of the population. According to “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections 2010-2050” this figure will further increase up to 1.3 million people i.e. 3.7% of the population by 2050. About half of Muslims of Ukraine are Crimean Tatars. The other 50% are mostly Tatars, Azeris, Meskhetians, Chechens, Dagestanis, Uzbeks, as well as Ukrainians citizens of Muslim faith, and students who came to Ukraine for studying purposes.
In total, 1.500 Muslims live in Vinnytsia and its region. They are mainly Crimeans and students at Vinnytsia Medical and Technical national universities. There is also a small percentage of people who have business in Vinnytsia. Since 2002, the city has a Mosque that is regularly visited by 400 Muslims.
Vinnytsia has never experienced so far interethnic and/or inter-religious conflicts. However, anti-Muslim prejudice and hatred could become a threat for the protection and enjoyment of human rights without discrimination.
The Round Table on the Inter-Convictional Relations in Vinnytsia is organised as part of the implementation of the city ICC Strategy and aims to: i) raise awareness on challenges faced by Muslims in Europe and in Ukraine in particular; ii) to prevent possible discrimination based on religion and beliefs; iii) and promote the sustainable development of an environment suitable for positive intercultural coexistence in Ukraine.
It will serve to:
- discuss current attitudes towards representatives of the Muslim community in Vinnytsia and in other Ukrainian cities, in the light of recent geopolitical changes;
- raise awareness and ‘local consciousness’ about religiously sensitive issues and models of behavior of the different religious groups, in order to build a community free from stereotypes;
- establish a closer cooperation with the local NGO “Al-Isra”, which works with Muslim communities in Vynnytsia and the region, and the Islamic Cultural Center of Vinnytsia;
- discuss the main areas of concern in relation to violence and discrimination faced by Muslims in Europe;
- raise awareness of the community members about the importance of positive inter-convictional relations in the city.