Friday, December 20, 2019

Looking back at 2019

Hanukkah, Christmas, the end of the year - these are days of contemplation and joy, on which the year is reviewed.

For us as a foundation it was an eventful and successful year. We owe this to you and the many other supporters who generously donated to us! Without you our peace project of the religions would not exist in this form.

So we can look back on a positive balance: More than half of the financing for the construction has been secured, the State of Berlin has given us the building site for our multi-religious house for a symbolic euro, the first work has been completed and the date for laying the foundation stone is set: 14 April 2020.

During the same period, our multi-religious education team has been able to familiarize around 1,500 children, young people and adults with other religions and ways of life in workshops and guided tours, we have had the idea of the House of One translated into music during the International Choir Festival ChorInt., our partners from the Central African Republic visited with Cardinal Nzapalainga, we commemorated the fall of the Berlin Wall among many religions, celebrated religious freedom on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Basic Law, and hundreds of people also visited our events.

But it was also a year of profound upheavals. We live in a time in which it is often not what we have in common that is celebrated, but what separates us is emphasized. Prejudices turn into hatred, sometimes even violence, as assassinations like those of Christchurch, Sri Lanka or Halle in 2019 have shown. In multi-religious prayers for peace, we thought hand in hand with representatives of different religions and countries of the victims. On one day Muslims are the target, on another day Jews or Christians. We want to counter this hatred of mankind with and in our House of One.

Please help us with your donation to continue the peace work of the House of One in the coming year. We need you!

In the following you will find some highlights of our work in the past year:


The year of 2019




Demolition and Departure on Petriplatz

With a festive ceremony and numerous representatives from culture, politics, economy and religion we said goodbye to our pavilion on Petriplatz on 16 January. At the same time the date of the laying of the foundation stone, 14 April 2020, was announced. Rabbi Andreas Nachama emphasized: "The dismantling is an important step towards the structural completion of our inter-religious peace project". The cube of plexiglass and wood designed by the architects Kuehn Malvezzi was the temporary home of the House of One for one year. Hundreds of people were guests at discussions, prayers, project presentations or celebrations in the heart of Berlin. 




Rabbiner Nachama leads General Rabbinical Conference of Germany

For our Rabbi it was also personally an eventful year. In February he was unanimously elected chairman of the General Rabbinical Conference. Six months later Andreas Nachama was awarded the Mendelssohn Medal for his tireless commitment to interreligious dialogue. At the end of the year, the historian and director of the Topography of Terror Foundation will retire and thus have more time for his commitment to the House of One.


On Christian Foundations

From the Christian church to the three-religion house: In spring, the archaeologist Claudia Melisch uncovered further parts of the foundation of the old Petrikirche in preparation for construction work. These masonry witnesses to the Christian history of St. Peter's Square will be on display in the future House of One in the basement.




Gedenken an die Opfer von Terror

Menschen machen andere Menschen zu Opfern – auch im Namen von Religionen. So war es beim Anschlag auf das World Trade Center am 11. September 2001 und so geschah es im März in Christchurch, am Ostersonntag in Sri Lanka oder an Jom Kippur in Halle. Zu viele Anlässe waren es, an denen sich Menschen verschiedener Religion und Weltanschauung auf Einladung des House of One versammelten, um gemeinsam zu trauern und durch die multireligiösen Friedensgebete Zusammenhalt und Miteinander über alle Religionsgrenzen hinweg zu demonstrieren – wie zum 11. September in der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche in Berlin (Foto).




„House of One invites ...“

As part of our series of events we discussed with the bloggers Juna Grossmann, Stefanie Hoffmann and Safiyye Aydin about "Social Media and Faith - does it fit?", the philosopher and bestselling author Wilhelm Schmid asked himself the question "With or without religion - what do we have in common in our search for happiness and meaning in life?". Furthermore, Haladhara Thaler allowed insights into the spirituality of the Hinduists and Michael Bäumer into the world of the Buddhists.


„House of One invited …“

This series enabled interested people to get to know the religious traditions of the founding communities of House of One. For example, the Protestant congregation of St. Peter-St. Mary invited people to wash their feet on Maundy Thursday, the synagogue congregation of Sukkat Shalom to the Feast of Tabernacles or the Muslim Forum Dialogue to the Mevlet celebration - to name just a few examples.




Gedenken an Ende des II. Weltkriegs

Am Tag der Kapitulation des NS-Regimes in Deutschland waren die Geistlichen des House of One zur Gedenkfeier am Sowjetischen Ehrenmal im Berliner Tiergarten eingeladen. Juden, Orthodoxe, Katholiken, Protestanten und Muslime beteten Seite an Seite für die Verstorbenen. Zahlreiche Regierungsvertreter und Botschafter wohnten der Feier bei. "Wir machen uns bewusst, dass auch unsere Gegenwart mit Leid erfüllt ist und wir die Verantwortung tragen - heute mehr denn je - wachsam zu sein und zusammenzuhalten", sagt Imam Örs in seinem Bittgebet.


70 years of German Constitution

On May 23, 1949 the Basic Law came into force. Article 4 reads: "The freedom of faith and conscience and the freedom of religious and ideological confession are inviolable. The undisturbed practice of religion is guaranteed." Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and also Hinduists have jointly commemorated this event on the 70th anniversary at the invitation of the House of One. Rupert Thomas Holborow, Ambassador of New Zealand, and Ahamed Razee, Deputy Ambassador of Sri Lanka, warned in extremely moving words about the consequences of people not tolerating the freedom of others.





Neuer Partner: Die Peace Academy in Georgien

Die Stiftung House of One wird die Peace Academy in Georgien in ihrer interreligiösen Friedensarbeit noch intensiver als bisher unterstützen. Am 9. Juni haben Gregor Hohberg, Präsidiumsmitglied der Stiftung House of One und Malkhaz Songulashvili, Erzbischof der Evangelisch-Baptistischen Kirche Georgiens (EBKG), in Tblissi, der Hauptstadt Georgiens, in diesem Sinne einen Kooperationsvertrag unterschrieben. Es ist der zweite Vertrag dieser Art, den das House of One geschlossen hat. Die erste Kooperation war die mit der Interreligiösen Plattform in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik.




Catholic Theologian new on the Foundation Board

Johann Evangelist Hafner is a new member of the foundation board of the House of One. The Catholic is unanimously appointed and takes over the seat of Dirk Pilz, who died last November. The 56-year-old Hafner studied theology and philosophy in Augsburg, Munich and the Philippines and has held a professorship for religious studies at the University of Potsdam since 2004. He has also been an ordained deacon in the Archdiocese of Berlin since 2005.




Kurban Festival in Central African Republic

The House of One, as in the previous year, had called for donations for the Central African Republic (CAR). To ensure the distribution of the numerous food donations to Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and all other needy, Imam Kadir Sanci had travelled to Banui, the capital of the CAR. "Neediness knows no religion", said Sanci. In March, Cardinal Nzapalainga and other representatives of the Interreligious Platform from the CAR wer in Berlin. Supported by the House of One, meetings took place in the Bundestag - which is the German Parliament - and with the Federal Government to help the country and to promote the "House of Peace" in Bangui, a peace project of the religions based on the model of the House of One.




First construction works on the building site

Another important day for the construction of the House of One: Rabbi Nachama, Pastor Hohberg and Imam Sanci of the House of One, together with the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, State Secretary Anne Katrin Bohle (Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Homeland), State Secretary Gerry Woop (Senate Department for Culture and Europe) and architect Wilfried Kuehn (Kuehn Malvezzi) gave the starting signal for the last core drilling on September 16th. 71 concrete piles 35 meters long now form the foundation for the construction of the House of One. The Governing Mayor, Michael Müller, spoke of an important pile that has been driven in for inter-religious dialogue and good coexistence in the city: "The House of One is a great project right in the heart of Berlin




Humain chain in remembrance of the attac in Halle

Jews, Christians and Muslims of the House of One took part in the spontaneous vigil in front of the synagogue in Oranienburger Strasse on 9 October, the day of the attack in Halle. Together with the Protestant Church Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz (EKBO), the Archbishopric of Berlin and other comrades-in-arms in the "Alliance for a cosmopolitan and tolerant Berlin", the Foundation later called for a human chain in front of the synagogue during the Sukkot service. Over 200 people followed the call and lined up hand in hand along the street. Rabbi Gesa Ederberg came before the service and welcomed the supporters.


German-Georgian Youth Exchange

What should the fourth room, the Room for All, in the House of One look like? This was one of the topics that the young Muslims and Christians from Georgia vividly discussed with their German exchange partners - optionally in German, Georgian, Turkish or English. For one week in October, the young men and women of our partner, the Peace Academy from Tblissi, were in Berlin to follow the religious life of the city. The youth exchange lives the basic idea of the House of One: Only the encounter builds bridges and enables friendship.  


ChorInt: The House of One in four Concerts

The 5th International Choral Music Days ChorInt, took the laying of the foundation stone of the House of One as their theme in October this year. The "Music in intercultural dialogue" was performed in Jewish, Christian and Muslim places. It was an experiment and an attempt to musically translate the structural and content-related idea of the House of One. The House of One is an attempt to present the rich traditions of the religions in a new way so that the religions unfold publicly for the good of our society. ChorInt follows this basic intention and takes up the different musical traditions in order to dare to do something new with them.

The highlight was the world premiere of the oratorical scenes "In wüstem Land ohne Weg". With this work, the poet and theologian Christian Lehnert (libretto) and the composer Saad Thamir dared a new interpretation of the Ring Parable. The magazine "Chorzeit" calls the premiere musically successful and praises the strong, symbolic images that Lehnert found for his libretto. The event was a cooperation between the House of One Foundation and its founding communities.





Intercultural Education

Exploring prayer houses together, seeking conversations, putting oneself in the shoes of supposed strangers - the House of One offers interested people various opportunities to get to know the lives of believers of different religions. Last year, our multi-religious team of educators developed workshops for school classes, businesses and adult groups in which more than 1,500 people participated


From peace prayers to the Fall of the Wall

Prayers instead of violence. The churches played a central role in the protest against the GDR regime that led to the fall of the Wall 30 years ago. The House of One commemorated the peaceful revolution together with the Reconciliation Community, whose chapel stands on the former Wall strip, and the Berlin Forum of Religions. Thirteen representatives from nine different faith traditions - Baha'i, Jews, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, Sufis, Asatru - prayed for peace, reconciliation and tolerance on the occasion of the 9th of November in their own tradition.



Outlook to 2020


Friday to Saturday at January 24 to 26

„Women in Religion“

A three-day series of events will focus on the role of women in the interpretation of scripture, liturgical practice and the tradition of the Abrahamic religions. The programme will be available on our website from January on. Further information and registration under .


Sunday, February 9 at 10.30 am 

Interreligious Encounter

In the run-up to the laying of the foundation stone, the foundiing communities of the House of One want to get to know each other better. The parish St. Petr-St.Mary makes the beginning and invites their Jewish and Muslim partner, Sukkat Schalom and Forum Dalog, to the service in St.Mary's and from noon for the following New Year's reception.

Location: St.Marienkirche, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 8, 10178 Berlin


Friday, February 21 at 12 a.m.

Tetragramm returns to Parochial Church

In 1939 the congregation of the Parochial Church in Berlin had the tetragram, the Hebrew name of God, knocked off above the portal. 81 years later we will reinstall a reconstruction.

Location: Parochialkirche, Klosterstrasse 67, 10179 Berlin


Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m.

„Why anti-Semitism is a threat to all of us“

Panel discussion with Michael Blume, anti-Semitism commissioner of Baden-Württemberg. Religion and tolerance play a central role not only in his professional but also in his private life.

Location: Berliner Stadtbibliothek (ZLB) – Berlin-Saal (2. OG), Breite Straße 36, 10178 Berlin


Sunday, March 22 at 12 a.m.

Matinee in the Deutsche Theater

The event deals with questions around Lessing's "Nathan the Wise", possible parallels to the House of One and the dialogue between religions in secular times.

Location: Deutsches Theater, Schumannstraße 13A, 10117 Berlin


Tuesday, April 14 at 12 a.m.

Grundsteinlegung für das House of One

On the anniversar of the world premiere of Lessing's drama "Nathan the Wise", the first stone will be alid for the House of One on Petriplatz. The House of One continues to grow - and for this we continously need your support


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