A group in Jerusalem says it should remain a melting pot of all the three religions.
A group of Jews, Christians and Muslims, in a move to reject the politics of polarization, is all set to establish a place where all three religions can worship together. The public can access this prayer hall from September 5 to September 11.
The event, in theory, should not attract attention at all. The faithful of both sexes, sharing a belief in a single God and the love for Jerusalem as a united city, would pray, sing and study in unison. However, in all practicality, such an event is near to impossible.
Jerusalem's Alpert Youth Music Center is all set to become AMEN, a house of worship for all the three religions. The event is a component of the “Mekudeshet” festival. It is a part of Jerusalem’s Season of Culture. Organizers of the festival explain that such joint worship is taken from Isaiah's prophecy where he said that his house can be termed a house of prayer that belongs to all nations.
According to Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, a female Rabbi, this kind of activity is a natural one. The public pray together as they did in ancient times, praying communally. She went on to add that people now live as categories- an unnecessary distinction. She has the experience of rounding up Jerusalem's Zion synagogue community. Appelbaum said that actual Jewish tradition invites many others to share the experience of worship.
It is hoped by the organizers that this event will make the religion an important factor to resolve conflict in the Middle East. Such news comes in the backdrop of news that the Jewish nationalists have increased the religious tension in that region by marching inside Old City's Muslim Quarter while waving banners and chanting songs. Christians are feeling insecure as there in an increasing sense of violence between Jews and Muslims. The latter makes up about 75 percent of total residents in the Old City.
The Jews are starting to announce their presence by the yearly march. The Christian population remains stagnant at 7,000 people and this number has not risen during the past few decades. Jamal Kader, who heads the Latin Patriarchate Seminary close to Bethlehem, is afraid that religious tensions could drive Christians out from the city of Jerusalem. Since they make up a minuscule section of the population, their exodus from the metropolis may threaten the identity of Jerusalem as a city of multiple faiths.