“Jerusalem Hosted an Interfaith House of Worship for the Three Abrahamic Religions” (Samara Essa, April 6th – April 12th)

Muslim, Christian, Jewish Leaders Plan Interfaith Worship Center in Jerusalem

The state of Israel in general, and more specifically the city of Jerusalem has been dealing with religious controversies for a very long time. The Jewish people of Israel have had serious clashes with both the Christian and Muslim religions. These clashes had led to violence and hate crimes amongst these religions, not only in Israel but all over the world. So, it was a huge surprise to me when I came across an article about how this past Fall from September 5-11, leaders from all three faiths planned a week long interfaith house of worship. This event was hosted by the Alpert Youth Music Center, and for that week the center was called “AMEN”.

The three religions of the “book” (book of revelations), share “a passion for Jerusalem in which they will co-exist temporarily under the wings of the Almighty.” This event was integrated into Jerusalem’s yearly “Mekudeshet” (“Blessed”) festival. I found many articles about the plan of this to happen, but I didn’t find much on the outcome of the interfaith house of worship, or any proof.

I ended up finding another article about a group that actually did meet (with proof) on May 9 in Jerusalem to hold a multi-faith prayer. There was a group of 130 Christians, Jews and Muslims, that prayed together even after being threatened. They took turns explaining their notion on what prayer is, and found all the similarities between the three faiths. Then they separated into different parts of the building to do their separate prayers, then at the end they all came together and gave a song from each tradition. One of the Jewish Rabbis attending the event explained the purpose of this meeting by stating, “It is a very simple thing. Each person prays in the presence of the other, affirming the presence of the other, indicating a willingness to live together in peace. In this sense, it was a hugely successful event.” We are currently going through hard times all over the world in regards to religions clashing, so to come across this was very interesting and refreshing, and gives hope.

The unity and acceptance of not only the Abrahamic religions, but all religions were a major topic in “Nostra Aetate” of the Vatican II. It emphasized that it “urges all parties that, forgetting past things, they train themselves towards sincere mutual understanding and together maintain and promote social justice and moral values as well as peace and freedom for all.” The event of the union of these three religions is exactly what Christianity is all about; all humans are created in the likeness of God, and everything God created is good. So all people are created equally under God, and Christians following the Gospels must act as so, and this event right here is a great start. The end of “Nostra Aetate” follows up on this by stating “We cannot, however, call upon God the Father of all if we refuse to behave like sisters and brothers towards certain people created to the image of God. The relation of man and woman to God the Father, and their relation to their fellow human beings, are linked to such a degree that scripture says: ‘Whoever does not love, does not know God.’”

Discussion Question:
Do you think it is possible to establish such an event in America during these times of political/religious turmoil? What kind of impact would you think it would have on our nation?
Do you have any moral objections or issues with this event, or with different religions praying in conjunction in general?

8 thoughts on ““Jerusalem Hosted an Interfaith House of Worship for the Three Abrahamic Religions” (Samara Essa, April 6th – April 12th)”

  1. I think there are a lot of Christians, Jews, and Muslims that would be open to praying together in a community, while there are also those that oppose this cooperation. With Trump, and his anti-Muslim speeches and bill, it promotes this idea of discrimination more into the country; people see Muslims as an enemy. I know there have been lot of post on the internet with support for Muslim brothers and sisters, and there has also been hate. Personally, I see nothing wrong with Christians, Jews, and Muslims praying together in one space. Each religion, while different in their approach, worships the same God and practice good moral teachings. I think being in that environment, as long as there is no violence, will show people how different religions can and should respect and work together.

    1. I am in agreement with Becky. Due to the fact that our new President Donald Trump opening displays discrimination towards other religions, it makes it difficult for people to remember the big picture. Everyone should be considered equal, despite the color of their skin or religious preference. Trump often promotes more division amongst people rather than unity.

  2. Personally, I do believe that people in America could conduct an event, even though the world is currently in a religious/political uproar. I think that this type of event would have a great impact on our nation. When people come together as a collective group, people are often able to set aside their differences. I do not have any objections to different religions coming together to pray. I believe that it is imperative for other religions to respect one another.

  3. Personally, I think that many Christians, Jews and Muslims in America would be willing to do such an event in America. Having events like this all over America would have a great impact on us and I believe that impact would be positive. Especially having people of the Muslim faith, who are sometimes stereotyped in this country, join in these events to show people that we need to care for and love everyone. I do not have any objections to different religions and I think that it would be very beneficial not just for other religions, but also for the people in America.

  4. it is possible to hold an event like this in united states. it wouls help bring out all people together especially at this time.

  5. Yes I do think that holding an event like this is possible in the U.S. Honestly I do not think that an event like this would do much in this country. It may be a nice gathering but I do not think that there would be lasting results. Honestly, I do not think that different religions that believe different things can truly pray together.

  6. I think having an event like this is possible in the US. However I think with Trump’s presidency it is allowing people to promote hate and discrimination. It would impact our nation in the sense that people can see we may be different but we are equal and need to co exist for the betterment of society.

  7. I think it would be awesome and I think it’s just what this nation needs. To come together and realize there’s a lot of similarities and to stop the alienation of people in other religions. I think that there would be a large amount of people against it but for the most part I think it would be a great thing for the US.

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