HISTORIC HOUSE OF PRAYER UNITING CHRISTIANS, JEWS AND MUSLIMS OPENS IN JERUSALEM
‘Amen’ initiative part of Mekudeshet 2016 festival, Sept. 4-23, to harness Holy City’s spiritual power, connect people of all faiths amid troubling times
JERUSALEM, Sept. 6 – Christians, Jews and Muslims are uniting in an unprecedented and potentially historic interfaith prayer and spiritual gathering in the Holy City called “Amen – A House of Prayer For All Believers.” Amen will be open through Sept. 11.
Intended to create a single home for the world’s three major religions, “Amen” is playing a featured part in the 2016 Mekudeshet Festival from Sept. 4-23 that is harnessing the city’s ancient powers to inspire artists,musicians and cultural figures from around the world to redefine their art and traditions and connect amid troubling times.
Amen seeks to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims who share a belief in one God and a boundless love for Jerusalem to dialogue, study, sing and pray together in one temporary house of worship. Amenis creating both a physical and metaphysical space that encourages commonality rather than sanctifying 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 MekudeshetArtistic Director Itay Mautner.
Amen culminates a months-long series of discussions among representatives of the three religions, who cooperated to design the shared house of prayer. The venue, the Alpert Youth Music Center of Jerusalem in the Hinnom Valley, is open from morning to 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,” saidMautner.
The nearly month-long Mekudeshet (Hebrew for “holy” or “sanctified”) is being presented by The Jerusalem Season of Culture (JSOC). Mekudeshet is featuring scores of artists, actors, musicians and mediafigures from around the world and thousands of participants.
About The Jerusalem Season of Culture (JSOC):
Throughout 3,000 years of history, Jerusalem served as a source of inspiration to poets, musicians and other creative spirits. Each summer since 2010, the Jerusalem Season of Culture (JSOC) has summoned the ancient muse to create a schedule of original, city-specific productions that traverse artistic disciplines, unfold in breathtaking locations, draw inspiration from the city’s landscapes, stories and people, and create moments that could happen only in Jerusalem. JSOC is targeted to culture lovers of all ages and backgrounds from Jerusalem, Israel and the world. This September, JSOC will produce Mekudeshet, a festival of original, contemporary art that stretches the boundaries of culture, identity and sacredness in Jerusalem.