A €43.5 million project, called the House of One, will house a church, synagogue and mosque, becoming the first worshiping site of its kind.
The project is the brainchild of three extraordinary men – Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin Gregor Hohberg, Imam Kadir Sanci and Pastor Gregor Hohberg. The idea took form in 2009, but it was only earlier this month that the fundraising campaign launched with the symbolic handover of the first bricks.
Architect Wilfried Kuehn gave shape to the three men’s dream and came up with the designs of a building that will have not only have three different areas of prayers, one for each religion, but a communal meeting point as well.
"Each of the singular spaces is designed according to the religious needs, the particularities of each faith," says Keuhn. "There are for instance two levels in the mosque and the synagogue but there's only one level in the church. There will be an organ in the church. There are places to wash feet in the mosque."
Rivalry between religions is nothing new; however, the one between Islam, Judaism and Christianity has not only been fierce but also quite bloody.
Encouragingly, there seem to be signs of change in the form of slow but steady baby steps and hands of friendship being extended.
The recent efforts by Pope Francis to reconcile the Israel-Palestine difference, his symbolic prayers at the Separation wall and the first-ever Muslim, Christian and Jewish prayers at the Vatican are all signs of progress and hopefully a brighter, more peaceful future.
Read More: Can The Pope Bring Peace To Palestine?
Under the circumstances, the possibility of a common house of worship is nothing short of phenomenal.
As Rabbi Tovia Ben-Chorin very rightfully puts it, “The basic idea behind House of One is to bring people together who know little about each other. Ignorance is often the basis of rejection.”
Imam Kadir Sanci agrees, “The aim of our construction is to consciously promote non-violent and open dialogue between different religions and cultures. Everyone is welcome and invited to discover previously unknown aspects of other religions.”
"We want our children to have a future in which diversity is the norm," he added.
Donations have started pouring in for the project fund.
Here’s hoping that the project will bring produce results and a future of tolerance and interfaith harmony.