Sending a message of unity to the world, UAE has announced a historic project. Dubbed the “Abrahamic Family House,” it aims to bring today’s diversified population together with a mosque, a church, and a synagogue situated together in one place. Recognizing three religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, the harmonic site will be located on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.
Unlike any place in the world, the landmark will be the common ground of mutual respect and dialogue amongst all backgrounds, beliefs, and nationalities. The historic site also features a central garden including a museum and center for education. The Abrahamic Family House is currently in its first steps of implementation and will be completed by 2022.
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and several top Emirati officials reviewed the project with New York‘s Higher Committee of Human Fraternity on Friday. This was the second meeting held at the New York Public Library, where committee members discussed the progress of the Abrahamic Family House. The meeting also marked the beginning of the 74th United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
During the conference, the Higher Committee unveiled the design of the Abrahamic Family House. A reflection of the Document on Human Fraternity, the buildings will be of the same height, symbolizing equality. The space was outlined by the award-winning and globally-renowned architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE.
According to WAM, speaking on this landmark moment, His Eminence Elect Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Higher Committee member said, “This endeavor is a profoundly moving moment for humanity. Although sadly, evil, hatred, and division often make the news, there is a hidden sea of goodness that is growing and leads us to hope in dialogue, reciprocal knowledge and the possibility of building, together with the followers of other religions and all men and women of goodwill, a world of fraternity and peace. I would like to thank the UAE for the concrete commitment shown on behalf of human fraternity.”
The spiritual place will enshrine the values this country holds dear – acceptance. WAM reports, “Its creation is an important step – one of many taken by the government throughout the nation’s nearly 48-year history – towards realizing that while conflict, religious hatred, and intolerance continue to plague parts of the Middle East, unity and empathy are stronger forces that have the power to conquer all differences.”
The UAE government has always played a significant role in supporting religious minorities living in the country. With more than 17 churches, the notable visit of the Pope Francis, a Buddhist temple, dedicated Hindu temples, there’s a home for every nationality and religion in the UAE.
Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation and the newest Higher Committee member, says, “This is an important opportunity for all who believe in the power of faith and humanity. It will help build bridges between religious leaders and communities as well as foster peace and harmony in an era that is too often defined by difference. I am honored to be part of such an esteemed group working to champion love over hate, justice over injustice, and faith over fear.”