Religion is the opium of the masses- it was taught to us in our primary school books. But then, nothing could also be as polarising- divisive to the hilt of a breakdown and unifying to the point of experiencing true divinity- as the concept of religion. Isn’t it right? And where in one part of the world, a country which birthed three religions- Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, one is seeing bloodshed and true morbidity of human nature, in another part, we are witnessing hope to build a future where each of these religions can peacefully co-exist.
While the former holds true for Israel, as enigmatic a country as it is reviled much too frequently these days, the latter truly describes Germany, in whose beating heart- Berlin, a cornerstone is being laid to foment hope for a brighter future where Jews, Muslims, and Christians can peacefully co-exist.
As a matter of fact, members from each of these three vividly beautiful religions are jointly working toward creating a common home where the three religions can flourish. What was once a core idea, something that wasn’t even on paper, is now truly taking form and great shape.
Known as House of One- what a truly beautiful and sanctimonious name- the ambitious project that is aimed at bringing diverse and culturally rich religions together is slated to be completed right in the middle of Berlin, in the cosmopolitan city’s centre.
The roots of the project have a lot to do with the very beginning of Berlin, truth be told.
Here’s what revered German news platform Deutsch Welle had to report:
House of One is building on 700 years of Berlin history. Its location is close to where the city began and was the site of the Petrikirche. The 13th-century church had the highest tower in Berlin, and it survived in various forms until the East German communist government tore it down in 1964. The area has been a treasure trove for archeologists, who have found remains of more than 3,000 people buried at the church, as well as ruins of other churches.
This is an important project for Berlin,” said Pastor Gregor Hohberg, who helps lead the initiative. “Jews, Christians, Muslims, as well as atheists and people from other religions, have been talking about it for at least ten years.” The city needs a place like House of One, Hohberg added, to offer the opportunity to engage one another. “It’s an extremely important symbol,” he said, calling the site a “place of peace.”
The above being told, the ambitious project may take up to five years to be complete and once set and done, it could well become one of the most visited spots in the entirety of the city of Berlin, such as the remnants of where the Berlin wall once stood, the city’s famous zoo, and not to forget- the Brandenburg gate!
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Also, it must be noted that once the project is completed, it could become a renowned place specially for the city’s muslim populace for the simple reason that in the city currently stand- no fewer than 80 mosques as well as Islamic prayer spaces.
At a time where several parts of our world are still bickering needlessly on issues pertaining to religious intolerance and matters that divide, it is peaceful projects like House of One (that have nothing but secularism and the dream for co-existance at heart) that are giving peace a new chance and a fresh start.