Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders are planning to open an interfaith place of worship in Jerusalem for one week in September, The Media Line reported. From Sept. 5-11, a Jerusalem structure currently known as the Alpert Youth Music Center will become “AMEN,” a place of worship for the three Abrahamic faiths sharing “a passion for Jerusalem in which they will co-exist temporarily under the wings of the Almighty.”
The worship center is being created as part of the annual Mekudeshet (“Blessed”) festival, which is part of Jerusalem’s Season of Culture initiative.
Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, the religious leader and founder of the Zion synagogue community in Jerusalem, said that this type of joint worship “is very natural for an entire sector of the public. You pray together. It goes back to the most ancient ways people here in this city prayed, and prayed communally, so communicated. Today we live in categories that, frankly, we could do without.”
Sheikh Ihab Balha of the Islamic College in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, who represents the Sufi Muslim community in Jaffa, said that “our reality is that in the State of Israel and with the Palestinians we live in a reality of war and with media that harm people left and right and maximize cleavages and estrangement, and we have leaders that maintain this attitude — it’s clear as light. So we intend creating something religious and true against the lie that everything is a lie and only war exists.”
“We people of faith believe that the distance of politicians and leaders from the world of religious life and we have come to see that it is specifically religion that can bring peace, not contentious negotiations,” he added.