Young group of different faiths embark on world tour to promote interfaith dialogue
A Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, an atheist and an agnostic. It may sound like the start of joke, but in reality, their work is no laughing matter. These five young Frenchmen are in the middle of a world tour promoting interfaith dialogue.
"During one year we are traveling throughout all the world. Forty countries, or 50 countries. We have began with Egypt and Israel and Palestine. Right now, we are doing Europe.â?
"We meet people every day. Actually in our European part of this world tour, we change countries every three days so we have meetings, like two or three every day.â?
It's a grueling schedule that will take them all over the world to meet and talk with other people like them. People who feel that dialogue between religions is the key to solving many problems around the globe today. They called it the InterFaith Tour.
"Stop talking about the others, start to talk to the others and I think this sums up quite well what we're doing.â?
"When we were in Israel in Palestine, it was very difficult as a Muslim to be there. Because people don't live next to each other, they live back to back. They are close but they don't talk to each other.â?
During the recent visit to the heart of Catholicism, they had the chance to meet not only their peers, but also the Pope. He greeted them, and for one of the five men on this journey, their exchange with the Pope shows off what interfaith dialogue can accomplish.
"When I told him 'I am an atheist, I'm very pleased to meet you.' 'You are an atheist, you are my friend and I am very glad that you're here.' I thanked him for the letter he wrote a few days ago for the atheists, and then he smiled at me and offered me a little present. This is what interfaith is. Interfaith isn't just dialogue, it's action.â?
In the coming weeks they will leave Europe and head off to Africa. Then to Asia and the Pacific, before finishing off in the Americas.
Along the way, they've gathered information on different interfaith initiatives and placed them on their social media networks and website. Once finished with the InterFaith Tour, they say their work will continue to speak about their experience, and show that interfaith dialogue is the best path towards peaceful coexistence.