SHAFAQNA- The Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi seeks to encourage interfaith dialogue.
A rabbi, a bishop and an Imam walk into a room. It sounds like the start of a good joke. In fact, it represents a historic moment for interfaith relations that was brought about by the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity in February 2019.
Signed by Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb, the document called on followers of the three Abrahamic faiths to create bonds of peace and dialogue. This led to the establishment of the Abrahamic Family House, which opened in Abu Dhabi in March.
Featuring a synagogue, a church and a mosque, each decorated with variations on the same pillars — zigzagged, straight and arched — the house gives each place of worship its own distinctive visual identity, while hinting at their many similarities.
The idea was to provide followers of the three faiths with a single location where they could worship separately on the same site. And thanks to its roof garden, visitors of all faiths are also able to mingle freely and share ideas.
The design of the three houses of worship is egalitarian; each is contained within a space of equal size to the others. The house collectively acts as a symbol of religious tolerance and a place in which all faiths can learn to understand one another in harmony.
The Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi opened to the public in March. Since then, a rabbi, a bishop and an Imam have regularly been seen walking into the same building. Although they pray in separate spaces, they share a common dream of peaceful religious coexistence.
Source: Arab News