In almost every village around the world there is a church, a temple or a mosque where people gather for community. For many this is an important meetingplace that gives them hope of a better world. We believe that it is possible to achieve a better world; a world where human rights are respected and where we can build peaceful, equal and sustainable communities.
Regardless of whether you are a believer or not, an understanding of how religious actors and traditions affect our societies is essential in order to forge good partnerships. This is known as religious literacy and we believe that it can change the world.
We believe in mission
For us the term “mission” means reinforcing the positive forces in the world and fighting injustice – in words and in deeds. We believe that God has a good plan for our world and that we are invited to be part of God’s mission by caring for each other and our planet. It gives us hope that a better world is possible.
Since 1912 the mission of SMC has been to promote partnerships between organisations and churches that believe in a better world. Today we have around 30 Swedish member organisations, several of which are churches. Many have a long history of various types of active missionary work.
Based on Christian values, our member organisations, in cooperation with their local partners around the world, are working to promote human rights and global justice. Through agreements with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) we have been channelling funds for international development cooperation projects since 1980.
We believe in human rights
We believe that every individual is created in God’s image and has equal and inviolable human dignity and the right to live in peace. For this to become reality, we use our faith and our knowledge of religion in our work for human rights and global justice.
Sometimes it is useful to be able to talk about human rights based on an understanding of religion and theology. Similarly, it is useful to talk about religion from a human rights perspective. In this sense we are “bilingual” as we can translate between different understandings. This is an important asset in our work and our relationships with those in power in both religious and political contexts.
We believe in change
We believe that every person has a duty and the ability to work against injustice. Faith and conviction can motivate people to work for change and while also inspiring hope for the future. These are forces to be reckoned with. We work to promote the freedom of religion or belief for all people so that these forces can come to good use.
SMC and our member organisations have many years of experience working with faith-based organisations, therefore we understand and can find special ways to promote lasting change in difficult situations.
We believe in meetings between people
The SMC has the important task to create meetingplaces for cooperation and reflection among our member organisations. We arrange annual member days, seminars and courses with the aim to learn from each other, forge good partnerships and develop our various projects and activities.
Our international network consists of a diverse range of actors from various traditions. This breadth is our strength and our differences are an asset because they challenge us to learn from each other as we work together in God’s mission.
Photographer photo 1, 3: Izla Bethdavid Boltena, photo 2: Unfiltered Communications and photo 4: Job Mainye
The SMC has an agreement with Sida whereby our member organisations and their local partners can apply for funding from the Swedish aid budget.
We are the link between Sida and our member organisations in the application, reporting, monitoring and evaluation processes. Our work is guided by SMC’s various policies and governing documents, which have been adopted by our Board.
We channel funds from Sida in these four different areas:
In civil society, churches and other organisations play an important role in reaching and supporting individuals through education, cooperation and entrepreneurship to achieve sustainable change.
Many of our member organisations help to save lives and maintain the dignity of people affected by armed conflict, natural disasters or other acute situations.
Communication in Sweden
Our member organisations have large networks for advocacy and popular education (folkbildning) about global issues in Sweden.
Our member organisations organise many young people who are interested in global issues. Through internships in countries where our member organisations have local partnerships, young people can gain experience and make contacts for life.
If you feel that we are not respecting the partnership or project agreement or if you feel that our personnel have acted incorrectly or have not lived up to our organisation’s Code of Conduct, you may make a complaint to SMC.
To make a complaint, fill out and submit the form below. You may remain anonymous, but if you do so we will not be able to provide you with any direct feedback. Your complaint report will be addressed by the individual within SMC who is responsible for complaints and anticorruption and will be dealt with according to SMC’s procedures for handling problems, complaints and suspected corruption.
We have around 30 member organisations who are active in around 50 countries throughout the world. Our network consists of a diverse range of organisations and churches from various Christian traditions.
For the SMC, differences are a source of strength because they challenge us to learn from each other as we work together in God’s mission for a better world.
Right now we support about 70 projects focusing on human rights and strengthening democratic societies around the world. In this work, we channel around SEK 200 million from Sida every year.
Is your organisation interested in becoming a member of the SMC? Information on how to become a member organisation can be found here.
These are our member organisations:
Members of the Board are elected at our Annual Meeting. Each member of the board comes from one of our member organisations but is elected as an individual.
We have a diverse range of member organisations. The organisations vary in size and have different traditions and types of work and projects. The board members have a broad range of experience and expertise. The Board is an example of ecumenical cooperation where, despite different expressions of faith, we work together for and believe in a better world.
This is what our Board does:
- decides on SMC’s activities within the framework established by the Annual Meeting;
- adopts the operational plan and budget;
- appoints the Secretary General;
- represents the SMC in statements and responses to commission reports referred for consideration.
The Board meets at least four times a year and is registered in Stockholm.
At the Annual Meeting in May 2021 the following Board members were elected:
Eva Nordenstam von Delwig, Läkarmisisonen, chairman
Anna-Maria Jonsson, Evangeliska Frikyrkan, Daniel Yttermalm, Ankarstiftelsen, Jenny Svanberg, Life & Peace Institute, Johan Hasselgren, Svenska kyrkan, Lotta Sjöström Becker, Siri Bjerkan Karlsson, ADRA Sverige Sofia Svensson, EFS Salt and Stefan Emilsson, Equmeniakyrkan are all regular members.
Deputy Board members are Lars-Åke Winberg, Erikshjälpen, Klas Lundström, EFS and Maria Utbult, Barnmissionen.