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CISV International

Interfaith Activity

The goal of this activity is to allow participants to experience other sources of spirituality and learn about other faiths through real life interaction with different religious places.

Before the visits, have a meeting with the participants. Have a discussion where participants are asked to explain to the others about their own religion. Participants can be asked to create a hand out about their
religion to share with the group.

Before departing remind participants that the purpose of the visit is to learn about other faiths. Remind them that no matter the religious identity of the participants, or whether they are non-believers, everyone can benefit from the experience of experiencing the beliefs that are important to others. Tell the participants about the importance of being respectful and open minded. Also emphasise the need to respect the dress-codes
applicable in the locations to be visited and to behave appropriately.
Participants will visit different (at least 3) places of worship. The visits could be grouped together into a one-day trip, or spread across several days.

Visits to the places of worship could include the following things:
  • A talk by a member of the religious place about the religion’s core beliefs.
  • An explanation of the different rituals at the worship place and their importance.
  • An opportunity for your group to ask questions.
  • An opportunity to talk to young people who worship in the religious place.
  • An opportunity to experience a worship ceremony.
  • If appropriate, ask one of your hosts to say a prayer in the tradition of her or his religion.

It is best to organise your visit in liaison with the ‘keeper’ of the religious place. It is important to meet the person who will organise the visit so that you can explain the educational purpose of the visit. Inform your host
that because of the educational reason for the visit the tour should provide descriptive rather than strongly promotional information.
After each visit participants should review the “Reflect and Generalize” debrief questions. The “apply” questions should be discussed as a group after all visits have been completed.
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