Citizenship and Diversity

AEI-Pax Christi’s ‘Citizenship and Diversity: Christian-Moslem Living Together’, is implemented in the West Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian Authority. Running now for over 20 years, it promotes inter-religious living together of Palestinian Moslem and Christian teenager youth at 30 West Bank schools in the Bethlehem and Ramallah regions. As the title says, the program fosters the notions of citizenship and respect for diversity including diversity in the religious sphere. Annually 30 classes at government and private schools in the Bethlehem and Ramallah regions have 6 inter-religious lesson hours reserved to learn about Islam and Christianity. As a result of those hours some 750 students contribute essays, stories, pieces of drama, interviews, poems or research presentations.

Islamic and Christian religious education teachers develop, discuss and implement inter-religious, student-centered lesson plans. Teacher workshops are held about methodology, including discussions about the new Religious Education curriculum of the Palestinian Authority, along with a range of methods used in the project: moral dilemmas, oral history, storytelling, Socratic dialogue, as well as a home-grown AEI approach: Read Reflect Communicate and Act (RRCA). Fieldtrips to Moslem and Christian holy places are conducted.

While the project focuses upon schools, it also enters into the broader local community when community campaigns spread the project message, such as during joint Moslem-Christian celebrations at schools.