The United Arab Emirates unveiled plans this weekend for an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi that will unite a church, a synagogue and a mosque.
The announcement of the three houses of worship, collectively known as the “Abrahamic Family House,” follows Pope Francis’ February visit to the UAE, the first papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula. During the visit, Pope Francis and the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, signed a declaration to form an interfaith council called The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.
The Abrahamic Family House, set to be completed on 2022, is the first initiative by the new committee, according to media reports.
The complex, whose name alludes to the Abrahamic religions, will bring the first public Jewish house of worship to the UAE, Jerusalem Post reports.
“This is an important opportunity for all who believe in the power of faith and humanity,” Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation and a Higher Committee member, said in a statement. “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.”