Christians, Muslims, and Jews will come together and worship under one roof in Jerusalem for one week in September.
The Alpert Youth Music Center in Jerusalem is set to become AMEN, a joint house of worship where Christians, Muslims, and Jews will gather to pray, study, and sing come September. This is the first time that the three biggest monotheistic religions will come together in one venue for the love of Jerusalem, the city where they co-exist, according to an exclusive report by The Media Line.
The joint worship at AMEN is set to take place from Sep. 5 to 11. The event is part of a festival called "Mekudeshet," Blessed, part of Jerusalem's Season of Culture. Festival organizers explained that the joint worship is based on Isaiah's prophecy that says "My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations."
"This sort of thing is very natural for an entire sector of the public. You pray together," Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum told The Media Line in an interview. "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."
The female rabbi, who also rounded the Zion synagogue community in Jerusalem, emphasized that there is nothing new about the plan to build a joint house of worship for different religions. She said the real Jewish tradition invites others to share in their worship experience.
The organizers hope that the event will make religion the key to lasting life in the Middle East instead of a source of conflict.
News of the joint worship comes as Jewish nationalists upped religious tension in the region by marching through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City while chanting songs and waving banners. Christians are also starting to feel being squeezed inside the Old City as the violence between Muslims and Jews intensifies, Reuters reports.
Muslims currently make up 75 percent of the residents in the Old City's alleys. Meanwhile, Jews are beginning to make their presence felt through the annual march. Christians, on the other hand, remain to be around 7,000 and their population has not increased in the last five decades.
Jamal Khader, the head of the Latin Patriarchate Seminary near Bethlehem, said the religious tensions may drive Christians out of Jerusalem. Given their small number, the flight of even just a thousand Christians from the area will threaten Jerusalem's identity as a city where multiple faiths exist.