This text is an excerpt from an article by Tom Lawson which was published in Yes Magazine on June 8, 2014. In view of the growing anti-moslem and anti-Semitic feelings in parts of Europe, it is appropriate to us to show that the common values of these three religions are more important than their differences, that cooperation is more beneficial than confrontation, and love is stronger than hate and can conquer all obstacles to unity.
In 2009, archaeologists working in the heart of Berlin excavated the foundations of what is thought to be one of the city’s first churches, St. Peter’s Church, built in the early 12th century, in what is now the Petriplatz area. The church was destroyed during WW II and in its aftermath. The site where the once-grand Romanesque building stood is now little more than a wasteland—but that is set to change.
Due to the religious significance of the site, city planners asked local Protestants if they would like to be involved in the site’s redevelopment. But representatives of the Protestant community thought that another church was not necessarily needed. On the other hand the Jewish population has exploded in the last 20 years, and the Muslims in the city need a mosque.
A pastor, an iman, and a rabbi put forward the idea of multi-faith building shared by Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Each religion will have its own practice space, all equally sized but with different designs. There will also be a central room connecting the prayer rooms and providing an area where Christians, Muslims, and Jews can all meet, along with those of other faiths. . If all goes according to plan construction will begin next year and the doors will open in 2018.
“We can see all over the world that faith can divide people,” said Markus Dröge, a Protestant bishop in Berlin. “We want to show that faith doesn’t divide Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but instead reconciles them.”
“Berlin is the city of wounds and miracles,” Rabbi Tovia Ben-Chorin told The Independent. “It is the city in which the extermination of the Jews was planned. Now, the first house in the world for three religions is to be built here.”
“We want our children to have a future in which diversity is the norm,” adds Iman Kadir Sanci.
Construction will be expensive, and the three religious leaders hope to raise the needed funds. Donors can purchase “bricks” online in order to finance this building, designed by architect Wilfried Kuehn.
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