Meeting Place des Clichés

Come on, we're between us, I dare to admit it to you ... Every time I go to Paris to the premises of the Protestant Federation of France, a stone's throw from the Place de Clichy, I think back to Gad Elmaleh's sketch: "All these pictures, I would take them, I would kill them, I would twist them, I would put them in a place that I would baptize (with the Moroccan accent) the Place des Clichés" ... I sometimes laugh - and sometimes not at all. everything - these stereotypes that people carry about Christians of all stripes.

CSome people think that going to church is to be a little elated, crazy, even naive enough to believe these great stories. Some see Christians as people who seek to shy away from realities. Others imagine us victims of a sect, when they do not see us squarely as gurus seeking to recruit followers. Some, of more compassionate appearance, believe us sad, austere, old before the hour… There are also the fans who did not understand everything: “Ah, finally one who respects our traditions! "Or" We are a Christian country, name of God! Usually followed by their favorite curse. To all, I would like to say: come and see.

See what Christians are. You will find among them rappers, boxing coaches, hard rock lovers, friends of transsexuals and prostitutes, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, teachers, all kinds of artists and people who take risks on a daily basis. . And hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of other situations, from the most usual to the most spectacular.

Come and see. See if their books freeze them in the Middle Ages. See if some of their musicians don't know how to let go of their guitar. See if they are outside concrete realities, if they do not feel concerned by the crises that our world is going through, if they are indifferent to the misery of their contemporaries, if they are not interested in the management of the City and environmental issues.

See if there are not among them big bosses and little people, intellectuals and manuals, people of all origins, who all consider each other "brothers and sisters". Look at them, these Christians, who, carried by their faith, get involved in cultural, economic, social and political life. Who, transformed internally, carry high values ​​which inhabit them and which benefit them as much as others.

See them who hold social locker rooms, visit the sick, teach benevolence and love to children, transmit hope to those who no longer have it, have a pacifying role in human relations, welcome the one whom no one wants . See those whose love of neighbor is manifested in deeds, those who have known how to overcome the most painful experiences through forgiveness, those who work here and there for more justice. Finally, see those who are the bearers of good news and who pray for their enemies. Come, see, and let's kill the clichés on the “Place des Clichés”!

Pascal Portoukalian

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