ITALY – A Christmas show at school, as a banner of interreligious dialogue

Friday, December 19 a Christmas show as a banner of interreligious dialogue was set up with the participation of the pupils of "Simone Pasquale Neri” primary school of Giampilieri Institute "Santa Margherita" in Messina, chaired by the Director, Prof.ssa Laura Tringali. The small variety, entitled "Speak aloud that it's Christmas", is part of the activities under the project "Peace begins with me", which offers education to universal human values.


Peace, present in the biblical text as a heavenly gift to humanity and as a commitment of man, becomes true in everyday life, becoming the main reason for a renewed look towards those who live beside us so as to build channels of knowledge and dialogue. It is known that the educational institution plays a crucial this and that is why the Christian Christmas, with its many traditions, offers so many possibilities.


In a multi-religious context, how is the school environment of Giampilieri school, how does it tell and live Christmas? How does it share and educate for peace and dialogue between religions? During the show, which saw a large participation, of pupils’ parents' and also the community of the small village known for the sad events of the flood of 2009, there was reserved also a space to listen, in Arabic, to the Sura 3.45-47, to the text "Christmas" where the Koran refers announcement of the birth of Jesus by the angel Gabriel to Mary.


"And remember when the angels said to Mary: "O Mary, indeed God gives you glad tidings of a Word that comes from Him. His name will be the Messiah, Jesus ['Isa] son of Mary, illustrious in this world and the Hereafter, and one of the closest to God. He will speak to people from the cradle as an adult and will be one of the righteous. "Mary replied, "Lord, how can I have a son when no man has touched me?". "Exactly!", Said the angel; "God creates what He wills. When He decrees a thing, he has only to say: Be, and it is."


At the crowning moment an "extension" of the Christian nativity scene that proposes the moment of the Annunciation was presented. The children have built their crib with hut and baby Jesus, displaying the event of the birth of the Son of God, and their fellow Muslim classmates, instead of the Nativity realized the Annunciation, with Mary on the sill of the house that meets with the angel, as if to trace the famous painting by Fra Angelico. Christians and Muslims have met on the roads of Palestine, between Nazareth and Bethlehem, saying that dialogue between religions is possible and desirable.


So this is the invitation of the children of Giampilieri’s "Simone Pasquale Neri" school, to set out to find the road that leads to God, to peace, and to the mutual recognition of their identity. In conclusion it was proposed to make a special sweet together.