In Berlin, work has begun on the construction of the House of One, a house of religions that will be, at the same time, a church, a synagogue and a mosque. Christians, Jews, Muslims and even non-believers will be invited to live together in the same space that will rise on the ancient foundations of a 13th century church, the Petrikirche, badly damaged during the Second World War and then definitively demolished during communism.
The busy construction program of the building, which should be ready in four years, is the result of a project by the imam Kadir Sanci, of the rabbi Andreas Nachama and father Gregor Hohberg, a Protestant priest, who started discussing their dream of a common home ten years ago.
“It was a brilliant idea of Father Gregor”, admitted Rabbi Nachama, “to create a spiritual space in the place where the oldest church in Berlin stood for 750 years”. The new house of religions, Nachama added, “will bring together Jews, Christians, Muslims, other believers and non-believers. It should become a house of mutual respect ”, he explained to the local press.
The first stone of the building was laid Wolfgang Schauble, president of the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, as well as a former minister of economy during the difficult phase of the great recession that began in 2007 and the consequent Greek debt crisis. Schauble defined the common home as “a place of tolerance and openness” which must have “the theological aspiration to open up to other spiritual perspectives with equal respect”. Finally, the president of the German Chamber underlined the importance of the project to promote dialogue between religions and to combat fanaticism and violence.