House of worship for Christians, Jews, Muslims being built in Berlin

The German government will be constructing a house of worship for all faiths in Berlin, at a site where a church was torn down in East Germany by the Soviet Union while the side was under occupation following the end of World War II.The House of One in Berlin, being referred to as as “churmosquagogue,” is intended to bring those of all faiths and no faiths together as a sign of coexistence and solidarity, according to a report by The Guardian. The choice of the site only gives it further symbolic meaning, as it stands on a place where a church was desecrated and within what was once the capital city of the Nazi regime.It will be designed by Berlin-based architects Kuehn Malvezzi, and will include within the structure a synagogue, a church and a mosque – all linked to a central common area. Events and discussions will take place in its yet to be constructed large hall.”The building epitomizes the relationship between the three religions which can be described as a simultaneity of intimacy and foreignness in a spatial constellation,” architects from Kuehn Malvezzi told Archinect. “Each faith will have their own sacred space as a dedicated house of prayer, specific to their respective liturgies.” “There is no typological model,” they added. “We aspire to develop the design as an intimate and significant expression of the content itself, thus involving the future users intensely in the design process of this novel building typology.”According to the report, each faith would worship separately but congregate with one another on holidays and special occasions.

“There were specific design elements required by each faith,” the architects added. “Still, they don’t contradict each other at all, as each faith has their proper sacred space.”A foundation stone for the House will be laid at a ceremony to take place on May 27. The project has undergone ten years of planning and endured few delays to finally reach this point. It is estimated that the $57 million construction will take just around four years.The German government and the state of Berlin put up close to $37 million for the project, with private donations making up the remainder of the funding.“The idea is pretty simple,” said Christian theologian Roland Stolte, one of the organizers of the project, according to the Guardian. “We wanted to build a house of prayer and learning, where these three religions could co-exist while each retaining their own identity,” he said, adding that although “in the first few years there were some fears that we were mixing religions or trying to create a new religion,” the report added.Secular ideals were also taken under consideration for the project, and those representing those ideals were also a major part of the planning.“East Berlin is a very secular place,” Stolte concluded. “Religious institutions have to find new language and ways to be relevant, and to make connections.”“There are many different ways to God, and each is a good way,” said Andreas Nachama, a rabbi involved with the project, according to the report. “It is more than a symbol. It is the start of a new era where we show there is no hate between us.” Source

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