Last month, Yves invited his neighbor’s son, Djibril, to come with him to an unusual visit: the local synagogue. “A Muslim has nothing to do in a synagogue, nor in a church,” first answered the boy’s dad. “Djibril goes to the mosque and it is all he needs !”
Yves was expecting this reaction: Jewish and Christian parents are not always wanting their children to go to other cult places than their own. What for?
“To know yourself better and to better understand your friends,” Yves always answers. He doesn’t believe in any god, but anyway! With his association, he takes religious and non-religious children for tours of churches, mosques, synagogues, temples… all the worship places that can be visited. His ambition? Get rid of taboos and prejudices around religions and atheism, present works of art and live laïcité.
“Being laïc” he explained to Djibril’s father “doesn’t mean you’re against the religions! It’s the opposite. It means allowing all of them to have their place in public space, without hate. And don’t be afraid for Djibril! Knowing more about Judaism or Christianism won’t convert him! See – I’m going to church, to the mosque, to the synagogue and to the temple, but I’m still not religious!”
To go further
- Laïc, judaïsme are words with diaeresis – a symbol that is written on a vocal to pronounce it separately, like noël or maïs. Train to recognize the different orthographic signs, such as accents and cedilla in these exercises
- Cela est suffisant (adjective) , des croyants (noun), il n’est pas croyant (adjective) – in French, many words end up with -ant. They are written in the same way but don’t always agree with other words. Have fun at recognizing words finishing with -ant in this exercise!
Discovering more about the subject
- To know more about Muslims and Jews throughout history (they have more in common that you might believe), have a look at the Aladin project, with its guide on Judaism and Islam to discover here in French and here in English
- What do you know about Christianism? Have a look at this quiz or read this article
- Did you know that many associations like Yves’ are being created in France? You can discover the association Coexister, whose motto is « Diversité de convictions, Unité dans l’action » here
- Have fun with a famous comedy on religious diversity in France. The trailer is here
How do Muslim, Christian or atheist foreigners live with French laïcité every day? It is in this video!
For more videos, go to Ensemble en France’s MOOC