During August Sr Phyllis Behan spent a week in Taizé. During the time she was there young Christians and Muslims from across France were participating in a three-day event in which they experienced dialogue for common good but also became aware of fundamental faith questions. Here Sr Phyllis recounts her experience:
“I have just returned from Taizé where I spent a week. There were 2,500 people there last week and another 2,000 there this week. I was privileged to be there while the Muslim/Christian dialogue and sharing was going on. The Brothers are terrific in their outward and forward looking enterprises. Bro Alois, the Prior, spoke on the Friday night to the whole assembly. His points were that ‘friendship’ is the key between different groups and peoples and his second point was that each group should keep a ‘respectful distance’.
On the Sunday morning I attended a workshop where many of the young people shared their experience of the weekend. It was clear that ‘generalisations’ such as ‘Muslims’ did this or ‘Christians’ did that were hurtful to both groups. Some of the leaders also spoke and a Sufi group sang a song. One of the Taizé chants was composed especially for the occasion. It was such a powerful event of solidarity in today’s world where there is growing anti-Muslim sentiment because of the violence of a few. Taizé itself has the presence of Police outside the church before the major assemblies each day and the young volunteers check all the bags going into the church. Lyon airport on the return journey was a nightmare with soldiers walking around with automatic weapons and the security checks at every corner.”
Click HERE for an article about the event which appeared in LaCroix.