Last Christmas the Yeu Cyprus gave me the opportunity to interact with 35 youngsters from Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Palestine,Jordan, Egypt,Israel and Cyprus. The Yeu Cyprus implemented the successful interreligious youth exchange”Merry Holy…Days”. Before that youth exchange I had the perception that the religion was a sort of power and manipulation so I was completely denying the opportunity to seek a spiritual guidance by any religious leader, in fact I was completely atheist.
The first day, after the ice breaking games I was getting to know better the other participants so I was learning more about their culture and their religious perceptions. In a conversation, one participant mentioned that after going abroad he didn’t share his thoughts with anybody ,he needed someone to talk so he started seeking the God. The conversation I had with that participant made me to wonder about the role of the religion in our society. It is obvious that in many societies the religion is a sort of power, because the people who have power use it as a sort of manipulation.In fact, the religion is a kind of spiritual investigation, it helps you to understand better yourself. During that youth exchange I had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas, Shabbat and Ramadan .I visited a mosque, a synagogue and a Catholic and an Orthodox church and I asked my questions to the religious leaders. I learnt that the Muslims eat “halal” food and the Jews “kosher” food.
I should mention that this youth exchange gave me an incentive to learn Hebrew,which means that I enrich my linguistic horizons. Since the end of the youth exchange I listened music in Hebrew something that I had never done before.Through my interaction with the other participants I got over some stereotypes that I had never recognized before, as a result, I developed further as a person.
After the end of the youth exchange I was trying to find my spiritual identity and I conclude that I am Christian,Jew and Muslim since all of them teach the values of love and respect. It seems to me that the Christianity, Judaism and Islam have more similarities than differences, so, let’s focus on our similarities for a better future.
I would like to thank the team of the Yeu Cyprus and all the participants because each one had an input in my spiritual, cultural, linguistic and religious investigation.