The Swedish Agency for Support to Faith Communities is a government agency that provides support to faith communities in Sweden. The aim of this support is to enable congregations to work actively with a long-term focus on worship, education, and spiritual and pastoral care. This means that:
The Government decides which faith communities are eligible to receive state funding. Each year the Agency allocates the assigned state funding to entitled communities. The funding is distributed as organizational grants, operational grants and project grants. The Agency does not allocate funding to the Church of Sweden.
This general support takes the form of training and capacity building as well as providing advice and administrative support to faith communities in Sweden. This is particularly important for faith communities that are newly established in Sweden, as they are in need of extra assistance when they are orientating themselves in a new context and discovering how Swedish society is organized.
Faith communities play an important role in civil society when crises occur. In recent years many municipalities have had their attention drawn to the importance of contacts with civil society and in particular with faith communities that have unique experiences of aiding and assisting people during crises and catastrophes. These contacts can be strengthened at an early stage through dialogues with the faith communities. In several parts of Sweden such cooperation is organized through interfaith and intercultural councils.
The collaboration between the Agency and the faith communities enables discussion of issues relating to values, respect and tolerance. Within this framework, discussions and dialogues are organized about freedom of religion and the role and responsibilities of the faith communities in a democratic society.
The agency is consulted when proposals are made that affect belief and faith communities in Sweden and acts as the agency with expertise on these issues.