Interfaith Emouna Project

EUPJ Brussels is involved in the interfaith Emouna project and has been instrumental in its expansion over the past few years.

Along with the prestigious Institut de Sciences Politiques in Paris, EUPJ Brussels helps bring together Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other religious leaders in a joint educational program known as “Emouna, the Amphitheatre of Religions”. The aim of the program is to strengthen ties and mutual knowledge.

Derived from a common etymology, yet adopted by different spiritual traditions, “Emouna” “Amen” and “Amana” signify trust, loyalty, spirituality, adherence and commitment through acts.

France’s first female rabbi, Pauline Bebe, is the project’s originator in Paris. EUPJ Brussels works with her to expand the project in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy.

Emouna is a one-year interfaith academic program. Participants take part in 18 days of training over nine months. As part of the program, the delegates work together as teams on projects. Alumni events are designed to continue the interreligious dialogue and exchange.

During the inaugural French version of Emouna, surprising friendships emerged:

  • A Catholic priest played tennis with an Orthodox rabbi.
  • A Protestant minister discussed the effects of meditation with a Buddhist monk.
  • A student rabbi entered a mosque for the first time.
  • An Orthodox Christian heard religious leaders defending abortion.

The religious leaders discussed the challenges of biotechnology, the laws about professional secrecy, the difficulty of supporting people in prison and hospitals, and the challenge of radicalisation. In one role-playing activity, an imam played the role of a rabbi, and a priest played the part of an abused woman, attempting to understand her pain.

Watch a short clip of the program (in French) here.

Find out more about the Interfaith Emouna Project (website only available in French).