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Interfaith Group Visits Washington

Interfaith Group Visits Washington

Published on April 28, 2014
Embassy Hosts Tour Promoting Religious Dialogue

On April 17, the Embassy of France hosted four French students, each of a different religion or viewpoint. The group met with Olivier Serot-Alméras, Consul General of France in Washington, and sat for a video interview (below).

The group is traveling through the United States as part of the Interfaith Tour, a program organized by Coexister, a French civic association promoting inter-religious dialogue.

Samuel Grzybowski, a member of the tour and founder of Coexister, described his enthusiasm for visiting the United States as a result of the country’s "interfaith pioneer" status in establishing a successful model of multi-religious society.

His ambition to start the group was driven by world events with religious aspects, such as the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and the more recent events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Through the Interfaith Tour, Coexister aims to accomplish three objectives: raise awareness of the need for religious dialogue, network with partner organizations and figures, and research the activities of groups like theirs around the world.

The tour has put the Interfaith team in contact with over 400 similar groups across some 50 countries. The costs of their travel has been offset through crowdfunding and a network of generous donors.

Mr. Grzybowski and Victor Grezes, Ismael Medjdoub, and Josselin Rieth—who met as political science students at La Sorbonne in Paris—are completing their world tour in the United States and Canada. The students have also visited parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

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