The idea of establishing an interfaith forum in Finland first saw light in the early 2000s, when former president of Finland Tarja Halonen invited the leaders of the three monotheistic religions to meet at the Presidential Palace after the shocking 9/11 terrorist attacks. In a meeting on 26 September 2001, the religious leaders discussed the roots and consequences of international terrorism with Ms. Halonen, who encouraged the religious leaders to continue to meet in the future.
Ms. Halonen’s initiative sparked regular interfaith meetings, which eventually led to the establishment of the CORE Forum in 2011. The member communities represent six religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, the Latter-day Saints, Buddhism and Hinduism. The CORE Forum members are the Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland, the Finnish Ecumenical Council, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Finnish Islamic Congregation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Finland, and the Finnish Buddhist Union. Hindu Forum in Finland became an observer member of the Forum in 2022. On May 25, 2023, the Islamic Council of Finland submitted a resignation notice to the CORE Forum based on the termination of its operations.
Since our founding, we have organised various seminars and cultural events, published blogs, issued comments and reports to the authorities, and taken part in discussions about education policy and other subjects. The CORE Forum is also a member organisation in councils and working groups of various public authorities: the Forum has a representative in the Finnish Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations (ETNO), the Advisory Board for Non-Discrimination Matters, and the Advisory Board for International Human Rights (IONK).