No, it's not a start of a joke. Berlin is looking to build the world's first all-in-one mosque, synagogue and church...
Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are all religions that share prophets and morals, but nonetheless stand poles apart in this day and ages. Looking to prove that they can all get along is an architecture design competition in Germany that intends to build The House of One; the world's first all-in-one church, synagogue and mosque.
The contract was awarded to architect Wilfried Kuehn and will see the historic place of worship built in the heart of Berlin. The site will be where the first church in Berlin, St. Peter's, stood dating back to the 12th century, until it was destroyed at the end of World War II. The location is highly significant, according to one of the three religious leaders involved, Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin. "From my Jewish point of view the city where Jewish suffering was planned is now the city where a centre is being built by the three monotheistic religions which shaped European culture," he told the BBC.
St Peter's Church in 1850, and graves being excavated in 2008
The imam involved, Kadir Sanci, sees the House of One as "a sign, a signal to the world that the great majority of Muslims are peaceful and not violent." Each of the three religious areas will be the same size but of different shapes to accommodate specific needs.
To the surprise of Kuehn and his team "What's interesting is that when you go back a long time, they share a lot of architectural typologies. They are not so different. It's not necessary for instance for a mosque to have a minaret - it's only a possibility and not a necessity. And a church doesn't need a tower. This is about going back to the origins when these three faiths were close and shared a lot architecturally." Each room will be the same size but of different shapes based on the prayer rituals of each faith.
Hopefully this House of One will tear down preconceived notions religions have against each other, ushering a new wave of cooperation and understanding, As it stands the design and location have been chosen, but the project is still a long way before reaching their funding goal. If you want to learn more or help donate then please visit the House of One website.