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Germany: Berlin, laying of foundation stone of “House of One”, a common house for Christians, Jews and Muslims

Berlin will have a common house for the three monotheistic religions: the “House of One”. It will be a place of faith, prayer, discussion and growth for Christians, Jews and Muslims in the German capital. The foundation stone was laid today. The ceremony, postponed from 14 April due to the Covid-19 restrictions, was broadcast live on YouTube this morning. The House of One will be built in one of the most desolate places in Berlin, the Gertraudenstrasse, which is part of the Bundesstraße 1, the multi-lane road that, like a highway, runs through the historic centre of the capital. After ten years of planning, the foundation stone of the international project “House of One” was placed in the Petriplatz, a widening of the multi-lane road. As wished by its sponsors – the Community of the Evangelical Church of Sankt Petri-Sankt Marien, the neighbourhood of the Berlin-Stadtmitte Evangelical Church, the Jewish Community of Berlin, the Abraham Geiger College, and the Muslim Forum for Intercultural Dialogue -, it will be a place where “Jews, Christians and Muslims live together peacefully and without prejudice”, as stated on the project website. By reason of an ecumenical decision, the German Catholic Church is not a sponsor of the “House of One”. Indeed, the Archdiocese of Berlin already explained (in 2019) that Christians are well represented by the evangelical community. The three-storey building in brick will have a cubic shape and three separate prayer rooms – a synagogue, a church and a mosque – as well as a central meeting room, where representatives of other religions and the secular society will be able to exchange views. The construction of the house will last four years and will cost €47 million, co-funded by the Federal Government, the Land of Berlin and private donations.

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