Rabbi, imam and bishop to adorn Belgian stamp
Times of Israel
The Belgian post office, Bpost, announced that next year it will release a stamp featuring Belgian faith leaders, including the country’s chief rabbi Albert Guigui. The stamp, which will bear the slogan, “Everybody equal, everybody different,” is aimed at promoting unity and tolerance.
Rabbi Guigui, who leads the congregation at the Great Synagogue of Europe in Brussels, told The Times of Israel that last November he was invited to appear on the stamp together with Imam Khalid Benhaddou from Ghent and the Bishop of Antwerp Johan Bonny. The three were photographed standing close together and clasping hands in Antwerp by Flemish photographer Lieve Blancquaert.
“The stamp is meant to show that in Belgium, despite what is happening and what people hear in the news, there are good relations between faiths. The photo shows us holding hands, united and working together,” said Guigui, who is 70 years old and has been chief rabbi of Belgium for the past 30 years.
The rabbi thinks that a stamp can be an effective means of promoting tolerance.
“A stamp, which is something used in such a widespread manner, can get the message out to all people. What is needed is to bring the interfaith cooperation and dialogue down from the level of the religious leaders to that of the everyday people,” Guigui said.
“When people start to know and speak with one another, there is less fear,” he added.