On the positioning of a church torn down by East Germany’s communist rulers, a brand new place of worship is about to rise that may deliver Christians, Jews and Muslims beneath one roof – and it has already been dubbed a “churmosquagogue”.
The basis stone of the House of One in Berlin can be laid at a ceremony on 27 May, marking the tip of 10 years of planning and the start of an estimated 4 years of building, and symbolising a brand new enterprise in interfaith cooperation and dialogue. The €47m constructing, designed by Berlin architects Kuehn Malvezzi, will incorporate a church, a mosque and a synagogue linked to a central assembly house. People of different faiths and denominations, and these of no faith, can be invited to occasions and discussions in the massive corridor.
“The idea is pretty simple,” mentioned Roland Stolte, a Christian theologian who helped begin the venture. “We wanted to build a house of prayer and learning, where these three religions could co-exist while each retaining their own identity.”
Andreas Nachama, a rabbi who is popping the imaginative and prescient into actuality in partnership with a pastor and imam, mentioned: “There are many different ways to God, and each is a good way.” In the House of One, Christians, Muslims and Jews would worship individually, however would go to one another for spiritual holidays, commemorations and celebrations, he added.
“It is more than a symbol. It is the start of a new era where we show there is no hate between us.”
The House of One can be constructed on the positioning of St Peter’s church in Petriplatz, which was broken throughout the second world battle and demolished in 1964 by the GDR authorities. When the foundations of the church had been uncovered greater than a decade in the past, consideration was given to a memorial or a brand new church on the positioning. “But we wanted to create a new kind of sacred building that mirrors Berlin today,” mentioned Stolte. “The initiators are acting as placeholders. This is not a club for monotheistic religions – we want others to join us.”
The federal authorities and the state of Berlin have between them contributed €30m to the price of the venture, with one other €9m coming from donations and fundraising. A brand new drive for contributions, launched in December, is anticipated to fill the hole of practically €8m.
The venture has been usually supported by faith communities and the general public, mentioned Stolte, though “in the first few years there were some fears that we were mixing religions or trying to create a new religion”.
The inclusion in the planning of individuals of no faith was a vital facet of the House of One venture, he mentioned. “East Berlin is a very secular place. Religious institutions have to find new language and ways to be relevant, and to make connections.”