The purpose of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities Bergen (Samarbeidsrådet for tros- og livssynssamfunn Bergen, STL Bergen) is to foster mutual respect and dialog between religious and life stance communities, and work towards equal treatment of religious and life stance communities in Bergen, Norway.
Eighteen faiths and denominations are members of STL Bergen, representing Bahá’ís, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Holists, Humanists, Muslims and Sikhs. Each group is allocated two council members and a deputy. The annual meeting appoints an executive committee, which again employs a part-time secretary.
The member communities are:
- Abu al-Fadel Islamic Cultural Centre
- Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at
- Bahá’í Community of Bergen
- Bergen Hindu Sabha
- Bergen Humanist Association
- Bergen Mosque
- Bergen Muslim Society
- Bergen Singh Sabha Gurdwara (Sikhism)
- Buddhist Federation
- Catholic Church
- The Christian Community
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Church of Norway
- Holistic Society
- The Islamic Fellowship Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- Thai Buddhist Association in Hordaland
- United Methodist Church
The council meets about six times annually. The venue rotates between the members communities. Twice a year STL Bergen organizes a public dialog meeting. The meetings center around a topic related to dialog or religion, typically combining lectures and debate. They feature anything from academic lecturers, to grasroots activists and representatives from the religious communities. The inaugural meeting in October 2014 gathered 170 people—the largest inter-religious dialog gathering in Norwegian history.
STL Bergen promotes religiously neutral public services, to allow people equal right to such services even if they have a minority faith. This includes establishing tranquility rooms at hospitals, airports and other institutions, and participation in creating equal rights at workplaces, in the educational system and for burial services.