Church, Synagogue, Mosque to Share One 'House'

Berlin project will cater to Christians, Jews, and Muslims

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 22, 2014 4:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – A pastor, a rabbi, and an imam walk onto an empty lot, and ... bury their shoes. Why? Because they plan to build what may be the world's first interfaith facility with separate houses of worship for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the BBC reports. Dubbed the "House of One," the downtown Berlin project will include separate designs for each building—with an organ in the church, a foot-washing area in the mosque, and two levels in the mosque and the synagogue (but just one in the church). It will also offer shared space where worshipers can mingle and contemplate, notes the Independent. So can they all get along? "We can," said Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin, one of the leaders involved.

"That there are people within each group who can't is our problem but you have to start somewhere and that's what we are doing," he added. They've already found an architect and launched a crowd-funding campaign; construction will start once $10 million is in the bank, Haaretz reports. The site once housed St Petri's Church, Berlin's first, which was built in the 12th century and destroyed by invading Russians during World War II. When archaeologists discovered an ancient graveyard there 6 years ago, it led to talk of a new place of worship and eventually the "House of One." Says Im am Kadir Sanci, the project's Muslim leader: "We want our children to have a future in which diversity is the norm."

A design for House of One.
A design for House of One.   (HouseofOne.org)
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