Several hundred people participated on Sunday in Lyon in the "fraternity march" organized by five ecumenical associations, in order to promote peace in the face of the tensions caused in France by the conflict in the Middle East.
Made up of people of different religions, the procession was preceded by a single multicolored banner, simply stating: “march for fraternity”.
Starting from Place des Terreaux, the march, collected and silent, without slogan or sign, crossed the Rhône to reach the Martin-Luther King space, at the very end of the Tête d'Or park.
“Inter-religious dialogue is very anchored in the history of Lyon. Today, the fractures are very deep. (...) We can try to understand the memory of the Shoah for some, the memory of colonization for others, but it is difficult to overcome passions in the context we live in" noted Father Christian Delorme, initiator of the march for equality in 1983.
Not far from him, Belaissa Ghana, president of the regional council of Muslim worship (CRCM), shares the same desire to "walk together for fraternity, whatever our origins, our religions, to avoid importing the conflicts of foreigner at the risk of destroying the national community.
Some participants have already demonstrated against anti-Semitism in recent weeks, others marched to defend "the civilian population of Gaza". Still others are participating for the first time in collective action in relation to the conflict.
"It has to stop, the guns must be silent. What is happening in the Middle East affects us a lot. Fraternity is the only way to get out of this drama" believes Éric Bellouard, 50 years old, member of 'a Protestant parish in Lyon.
“We are not responsible for the conflict that is happening thousands of kilometers away, but we are responsible for what is happening here in France,” testified Ruth Ouazana, representative of the Judeo-Christian Friendship of Lyon.
At the end of the route, Catholic and Muslim scouts distributed candles, inviting the public to place them to represent "a path of light", as a prelude to the next celebration on December 8.
Writing (with AFP)