"There were about 300 participants from 65 countries, coming from the main streams of the Christian faith. One half of them belonged to the historical Churches and the other half to the charismatic, evangelical, and Pentecostal Churches. The theme was: "Living together in Jesus Christ, strengthened by the Holy Spirit."
In the groups, each person was invited to share their faith journey. These were very powerful, even unique, moments of this Forum. My group was animated by a woman representing the Protestant Federation of France. There were 28 of us, from 24 countries. Amongst these were the Secretary General of the African Bishops’ Conference, and the representative of the Pontifical Council for Unity, one from Burkina Faso and the other from Tanzania.
The organisers wanted a brother to be there to give more unity to the times of common prayer of the assembly. Each prayer began as at Taizé, with a song, a psalm, a bible reading and a time of silence. The part with intercessions was more free, to allow those who wished to express themselves to do so. We had suggested that the prayers take place in a church, with a sober decoration; an image of Rembrandt’s Prodigal Son was projected on the wall.
They also asked me, and four other people, to speak. I had to respond to the question: how did our monastic community open up to young people, and what did that mean for the brothers?
Many people expressed their joy in knowing that Taizé was there. There were some moving meetings: with a man from Estonia, with the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate, with representatives of the Evangelical and Baptist Churches of Myanmar, with a bishop of Mindanao in the Philippines, with a bishop from Iraq...
The atmosphere was very different from other international Church assemblies, but what we can offer is always the same type of sharing, nourishing a communion between Christians whatever their church allegiance."