Les Deux Rives’ is a network that promotes Christian-Muslim relations by engaging in interreligious dialogue with Islam.

Les Deux Rives is a Jesuit work with a clear relationship with the Society of Jesus. Its mission arises from a commitment to a faith that does justice through interreligious dialogue and a creative engagement with culture (GC35 Decree 6).

Les Deux Rives offers a Catholic perspective of Islam. Their work is interdisciplinary, exploring the theology of both faiths as well as sociological and “politological” approaches. While Jesuits around the world have different ways of viewing and dealing with interreligious relations, mainly for historical and cultural reasons, there is a shared way of approaching the topic. This approach can be found at the Mediterranean countries where all the Jesuits, who belong to Les Deux Rives, are present.

The team of Les Deux Rives also organises joint events that promote mutual understanding among Muslims and Christians.

The Groupe des Deux Rives (GDR) met at the Centre Manrèse (Clamart, near Paris) between 30 December 2022 and 1 January 2023, hosted by Sylvain Cariou-Charton, member of the GDR. After 22 years, the sharing of what one lives personally, in community, in the mission at the service of the Society and the Church, becomes profound. The challenges, the trials, the crises, the actions accomplished... leave a perfume of wisdom in the exchanges. The passage of time also leaves its mark in the need to moderate work, to take care of body and mind. These annual meetings deepen a true friendship in the Lord, where discernment (personal and wider) takes place. The participants come from Algeria (Constantine and Algiers), Morocco (Nador), Spain (Granada and Seville), France (Marseille and Clamart), the Holy See (in community in the International Roman Houses) and Turkey (Ankara). The issues of the societies, the Society of Jesus, the local Churches, and the universal Church (clearly in the case of the Holy See) take up a lot of space. All of us are aware of the temptation to close ourselves off in our societies, while our call to dialogue (especially with Muslims) urges us to look after clear identities, which are open to the encounter with the other. In different ways, we accompany people overwhelmed by suffering and injustice, and since we are relatively dispersed, this group remains important to keep the word flowing.
Le Groupe des Deux Rives (The Two Shores Group) met by video conference for the second time. It was on 27-29 December. The participants shared aspects of their apostolic life and observations on society, the Church, Muslim communities... where they are or where they have been on mission. Maybe, we could share some interesting aspects on the Holy See, Algeria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates after our exchanges: From the perspective of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, we are reminded the need not to ignore the situation of Christians and local Churches in countries with a Muslim majority when it comes to dialogue with Islamic entities, especially when they have links with governments. The insights into society and the Church both in Algeria and in Turkey, show a greater diversity in society from a religious point of view, closely linked to the lack of confidence in politics: more young people do no longer present themselves as Muslims, but as agnostics, indifferent or even atheists; while a minority show interest in Christianity, in Turkey, even in the Society of Jesus. In this country notion of “inter-religious dialogue” is avoided on the public arena since the 2016 coup d’état as it is too closely linked to Fetullah Gülen’s movement. The relation between religion and politics is also under discussion at the United Arab Emirates: that showed the Forum to Promote Peace in Muslim Societies, whose topic for discussion was the notion of inclusive citizenship, so moving from coexistence to shared awareness through tolerance, a project contrary to the one of political Islam. We hope that next year we will be able to meet face-to-face, spend time together and make visits to interesting people in one of our mission locations.
The “Two Shores’ Group” gathers a few Jesuit Companions living and working with Muslims in the Mediterranean region. In their yearly meeting, happening at the place of one of the members, they share about their experience and meet with Muslim friends of their host. This year, from January 1st to 4th, they gathered in Toulouse, the fourth city of France, famous for hosting Airbus Industry and... the relics of Thomas Aquinas! More than 50.000 Muslims are living there, mainly in a working-class suburb area, Bagatelle, where the Jesuits have established a community in an apartment at the 17th floor of a tower (there is also another one in the city centre). The three Companions living there share the life of the neighbours, develop friendship with them and are fully committed in the social life of their neighbourhood. Among their friends we find imams, a member of the Regional Muslim Council, the spiritual leader of a Moroccan Sufi movement, and a convert involved in the Muslim Scouts. We met with them, visited mosques established in old stores, heard their dreams and discussed about organizational and spiritual aspects of their life... and of ours! Having met for the first time in 2000, it was the 20th meeting of this group. In the end of our encounter, what struck us is the fact that in our own personal sharing we did not speak so much about our own activities but mainly gave thanks for what the Lord has been doing in our own life and in the life of the people with whom we have been living and working during all these years... We can only repeat “Praise God!”, as our Muslim friends do so often when they exclaim “Al-hamdu li-llah!” (an expression found at the beginning of the Fatiha, the first surat of the Qur'an).
“Jesuits Among Muslims” and “Young Jesuits in Islamic Studies” met in Lebanon. The group of "Jesuits Among Muslims" (JAM) brings together, from five continents, about sixty Companions who have received a mission among Muslims and have the desire to reflect and share their experience together. Working in different sectors they currently meet every two years to reflect together on their experience and the dynamics at work today among Muslims. This month of July, twenty-eight of them met in Lebanon, with the general theme: "Arab Islam in the Middle East and in the World: New Configurations". This time, this JAM meeting was preceded by another one that brought together the youngest among us for two days, twelve "Young Jesuits in Islamic studies" (YJIS). The JAM meeting started with a focus on two dynamics that have affected the region and the Muslim world globally: the division between Sunnis and Shiites which seems to transform itself into a cold war and the evolution of Islam in Saudi Arabia which is slowly opening itself to a dialoguing approach. Then we continued with Egypt, where 2014 was a pivotal year as the Cheikh of al-Azhar dared to say: “IS is our problem”, encouraging a search for remedies against extremism. We explored as well what was happening in the Maghreb region and in the Holy Land, but we focused obviously on Lebanon where for a full day we talked with the Companions in charge of several institutions in Beirut. Beyond the remarkable activities they shared with us, it was their personal itineraries that touched us the most during this day. By simply sharing with us their personal life stories, they allowed us to deeply understand how the events of recent years in their region have profoundly transformed their hearts, opening them to a deep desire to encounter “the other”, not as a threat but as a promise for the future. Then we went all around the world, hearing companions speaking about Islam in their region and the challenges they meet, or offering a reflection on such things as the Abu Dhabi document signed in February 2019 by Pope Francis and the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, "on human brotherhood for world peace and common coexistence" or on a book that has marked the field of Islamic studies in recent years such as Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam? In conclusion, we heard a summary of the YJIS meeting where, in their sharings, the young Jesuits had insisted on the importance of relationships: first of all, with the Muslims, a major source of consolation for them; with God who called them to a ministry of reconciliation; among themselves; with Companions who unfortunately do not always understand their call; with those who have been a source of inspiration for them; and with “mentors” they wish to find to help them see more clearly where to go. Then we finished our meeting with a time of evaluation where four calls were heard: (1) giving attention to the formation of young Jesuit as all should receive an introduction about how to engage with Muslims and Islam; (2) promoting a positive engagement with Muslims in the Society and in the Church, inviting to critical thinking; (3) collaborating with others in this ministry (a Dominican from IDEO was present in our meeting); (4) need for a promoter of our engagement with Muslims, who would coordinate it  and be the editor of a website dedicated to this engagement, making it visible, in the Spirit of Pope Francis.
Le Groupe des Deux Rives (Two Shores’ Group) held its annual meeting between the 26th and 30th December 2017 in the Franciscan Convent of Saint Mary Draperis, Istanbul (Turkey). In the words of Pep Buades, it was a “time of common discernment on the future of the Jesuit mission in Turkey”. It was also an opportunity to meet the Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, Mgr. Rubén Tierrablanca OFM, and gain an insider’s insight into the situation of the Catholic Church in Turkey. The visit to the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture, linked to the disciples of Said Nursi, allowed for some sharing about the way we understand dialogue and the interplay between faith and reason. Being in Istanbul, also meant we had to pay a visit to some of the city’s most symbolic religious places: the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Muslim shrine of Eyüp. A huge part of the meeting was devoted to personal sharing about our lives and missions. As friends in the Lord, we did not only speak about topics of common interest, but about our current discernments, our joys and our sorrows. Among other things, we touched upon the fragility of our presence in Maghreb and Turkey and how this nurtures a deeper sense of providence, as well as the desire for new companions to share in our mission. Some of us, mentioned the difficulties faced when engaging simultaneously in a dialogue with Muslims and catechumenal work. We also discussed our commitment to Jesuits Among Muslims (JAM), the PLURIEL network of Catholic Universities in Europe and Lebanon and the HEST cluster on the dialogue between Christians and Muslims, and organizational issues related to some of our common activities, as Inner discovery of Algeria, a programme for college students and young professionals. The group’s next meeting will be hosted by Damien de Préville and will take place in Constantine between the 28th and 29th July. Damien will also have the pleasure of hosting this year’s annual meeting between the 26th and 30th December. The members who attended the meeting were: Jean-Marc Balhan (Ankara, Turkey), Alexis Doucet (Ankara, Turkey), Christophe Ravanel (Algiers-Algeria), Damien de Préville (Constantine-Algeria), Jaume Flaquer (Barcelona-Spain), Josep Buades (Sevilla-Spain), Laurent Basanèse (Rome-Italy) and a French scholastic currently studying Theology, Olivier Dewavrin (Paris-France). Some others, unfortunately, couldn’t participate this time: Jesús León (Constantine-Algeria), Sylvain Cariou-Charton (Vanves-France), Jack Germanos (Nador-Morocco), Ricardo Jiménez (Algiers-Algeria) and Álvaro Dorantes (Alexandria-Egypt).  
Le Groupe des Deux Rives’ meeting 2016. Le Groupe des Deux Rives (Two Shores’ Group) held its annual meeting on 27th-30st December 2016 in Granada (Spain). Surrounded by the finest examples of Moorish architecture, the group had to visit   the Alhambra and other buildings of the Islamic historical legacy in Andalucia. The history and the dream of Al-Andalus, as well as Christian-Muslim relations weigh a lot, for there has been as much violence as dialogue and living together. The visit to a local Islamic community, whose president chairs the Union of Islamic Communities in Andalucía, allowed us to better understand the spiritual life of Muslims, issues related to Spanish identity of both Islamic communities and several kinds of worshippers (immigrants, their children and Spanish-born Muslims), and the institutional challenges they face. The visit to the Jesuit Faculty of Theology, whose theological reflection is intended to be done in dialogue with Islamic thought, lead us to a common priority for the Society of Jesus in Europe: the need to build solid alliances among Jesuit institutions. As usual, a big part of the meeting consisted of sharing about our lives and missions. As friends in the Lord, we didn’t just speak about topics of common interest, but on our current discernments, our joys and our sorrows. Conversations among the members of the group focused on different topics, such as the difficulties to bring together the dialogue with Muslims and catechumenal work. There was also a profound reflection on conditions for dialogue: dialogue and truth, truth framed by tradition, etc. The fragility of our presence in Maghreb and Turkey underscores the need to constantly place ourselves in the hands of Providence, whilst searching for new companions ready to share in this mission. The group also organises some common activities throughout the year, as the “Inner discovery of Algeria”, a programme aimed at college students and young professionals in Algiers, from 6th to 27th August (convenor: Christophe Ravanel). The next meeting of the Group is foreseen in Turkey (Istanbul) on 26th-30th December 2017 (convenor: Jean-Marc Balhan). The members attending the meeting were: Jean-Marc Balan (Ankara, Turkey), Christophe Ravanel (Algiers-Algeria), Damien de Préville (Constantine-Algeria), Jaume Flaquer (Barcelona-Spain), Jesús León (Constantine-Algeria), Josep Buades (Sevilla-Spain) and Gabriel Pigache (Lyon-France). Two other Jesuits were invited: Maged-William Readany from Egypt, at present studying at the Gregorian University, and Ángel Benítez-Donoso from Madrid, who has been working for two years at JRS-Lebanon as part of his regency. Unfortunately, some others couldn’t participate this time: Sylvain Cariou-Charton (Vanves-France), Jack Germanos (Beirut-Lebanon), Ricardo Jiménez (Algiers-Algeria) and Álvaro Dorantes (Beirut-Lebanon). Juan Carlos Pallardel, who is working in Pakistan, has sent a long message to the group, sharing his experience and asking for help to the Church in Pakistan with retreats and lectures in summer 2017.