In Jerusalem, from September 4-11, Christians, Jews and Muslims will unite in an unprecedented and potentially historic interfaith prayer and spiritual gathering called “Amen – A House of Prayer For All Believers.”
Intended to create a single home for the world’s three major religions, Amen will be held during the 2016 Mekudeshet Festival. Mekudeshet (Hebrew for “holy” or “sanctified”), which will be presented by The Jerusalem Season of Culture (JSOC) from September 4-23, will feature scores of artists, actors, musicians and media figures from around the world, as well as thousands of participants.
During the festival, the Amen event will seek to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims who share a belief in one God and a boundless love for Jerusalem so that they can dialogue, study, sing and pray in one temporary house of worship. Amen will create both a physical and metaphysical space to encourage commonality, rather than to sanctify age-old divisions, say Mekudeshet organizers.
“We will study, argue — yes, this is also allowed — and pray — together and alone. We will see if it is possible, despite all the corporeal difficulties and earthly obstacles, to create a new reality,” said Mekudeshet Artistic Director Itay Mautner.
Amen culminates a month-long series of discussions among representatives of the three religions, who cooperated to design the shared house of prayer. The venue, the Jerusalem Music Center at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, will be open from morning till night, with meetings and preparations for prayer taking place at 10 a.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m daily throughout the week in Arabic, Hebrew and Coptic.
“It is nothing short of a miracle that between four walls, we will inaugurate a temporary home for the three religions that share Jerusalem and for all those who wish to dwell under the wings of the Almighty,” said Mautner.