France - "Mercy", a video clip that is a testimony of interreligious dialogue

05 July 2016

(ANS - Argenteuil) - An exceptional project and one that is counter-current: to unite twelve young people - Christians, Jews, Muslims, and "no religion" - on the same subject, "mercy", and to show in various verses that another world is possible. This is the scope of the video, directed last May by the Salesian Benjamin Dewitte Dubrana who was ordained priest on 25 June in Pontoise.

By Hélène Boissière Mabille

Why bring together young people of different faiths?

 The Video Project "Mercy" comes from an awareness of the gap between what we say and what we see. On the one hand, there are the views reported in the media that speak of interreligious tensions which drive people to extremism. And on the other hand, there is my daily life at Argenteuil where I work with young people in a parish and in a private school, where 40% of the pupils come from Muslim families. Here I discovered a sense of otherness, of unity in diversity.

So I decided to encourage and strengthen what is already there by doing this video clip with young people of the three monotheistic religions and "no religion". The aim is not only to strengthen the bond between them, but to make them "ambassadors".

But is the theme of Mercy not purely Christian?

Far from it! The paradox is that even those who kill in the name of Allah seem to have forgotten that the word "merciful" is among the first words of the Qur'an: "Allah the most merciful." Mercy is also a keyword in Judaism, from which it draws its root. Finally, mercy means "womb" or "Matrix," that is, unconditional love and kindness, which also covers the position of those who do not identify with any religion.

It is no coincidence that Pope Francis, who knows how to read the signs of the time, has proclaimed a Holy Year of Mercy.

Where did the idea of making a video clip come from?

My experience as a musician led me naturally to think of a musical project, which would give a combined response to the media reports while the young people and their families enjoy living and singing together, creating a product that conveys ideas and, at the same time, giving testimony that all this is possible, contrary to what we hear on TV.

Each verse was written by a young person of different beliefs, while the chorus repeats the words "mercy, the heart of the Father, Mother's heart." In this way, the video gives an idea of ​​how "mercy" may re-echo in the convictions of each one.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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