By Ransome Oginni
It was great to do my first Youth Encounter Day last Saturday, supported by Feast colleague Uzma and a local youth leader who volunteered with us, Erik.
Our event was with boys from two suburbs in Bradford, BD3 and BD4, who have very little meaningful interaction with each other. It took a couple of minutes for the two groups to mix but as we did a few ice breakers and the day the went on they were soon having lots of fun together.
As well as the usual good stuff like arcade games and food, The Feast always has a time for the young people to learn to talk to each other, about who they are and what they believe. The dialogue that came up from the session was amazing and it was great to hear the young people’s comments.
Some of the brilliant questions they found they could ask peers of a different faith included:
- Why do you sing old songs in church?
- Why do you have to face Mecca when praying?
- Many Asians win my school say they are Muslims and go to Mosque … but still they swear. Is it allowed in your religion to swear?
- What does the Bible tell you about?
- Who wrote the Qu’ran / Bible?
Even many adults I know might squirm answering these!
When speaking about stereotypes and how we can all make unfair assessment and judgements, a comment that really impressed me came from one of the young Christians boys.
“One of the ways we can stop making stereotypes is to think before we speak and get to know someone first”.
This was really great to hear, especially as he had realised this after earlier admitting, as they all did, that they have stereotyped people in the past.
A great experience and very positive. I can’t wait for the next one.