A building project by Jews, Christians, and Muslims looking for a place to meet becomes a reality today as faith leaders unite to lay the first bricks for a groundbreaking interfaith structure in the middle of Berlin, Germany.
Known as the House of One, or the “Churmosquagogue,” this unique project will be the home to a synagogue, church, and mosque, built around a central meeting space, to serve as a symbol of human fraternity.
According to the House of One website, as I reported on here, the central meeting place will serve as a communal room, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims and members of the general public can come together and learn more about the Abrahamic religions as well as each other.
DW reported that the House of One project has received significant political backing, including funding from the federal and Berlin state governments. Supporters behind House of One include prominent political leaders, like Berlin’s Mayor Michael Müller.
Pastor Gregor Hohberg told DW, “This is an important project for Berlin. Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as well as atheists and people from other religions, have been talking about it for at least ten years. It’s an extremely important symbol… [It is a] place of peace.”
The House of One building is designed by architect Kuehn Malvezzi. The structure is expected to take four years to build.
The House of One has also received criticism from opponents of religious pluralism, or what Diana Eck of Harvard University refers to as “the energetic engagement with religious diversity.”
Roland Stolte, a Christian theologian involved in the House of One, pushed back on critics by maintaining that the Abrahamic religions can coexist while retaining their own identities.
To be clear, the House of One includes three distinct places of worship for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The “mixing” occurs in the central meeting place, a space to be shared for the purpose of spreading knowledge and understanding.
Bishop Markus Dröge, an ambassador of the House of One project, recently Evangelical Focus, “We want to show that faith does not divide Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but instead reconciles them.” He added, “[Jews, Christians, and Muslims] all believe in the same God, one God. We need to leave our differences on the table and try to find what we have in common. That’s how we can learn from each other.”