(RNS) — In the middle of old Berlin, Christians, Muslims and Jews have been creating an interfaith center with a church, mosque and synagogue all in the same building. Since breaking ground on the House of One, meant to celebrate the three monotheistic religions, the groups behind the project have been looking forward to its opening in 2028.They didn’t reckon with Oct. 7. The Israel-Hamas war, which began a month ago with Hamas’ surprise butchering of Israelis and the ferocious Israeli response, has spread Middle Eastern tensions throughout Europe. Germany has been no exception.
On Oct. 10, the partners behind House of One met for a prayer meeting at the building’s construction site. Imam Kadir Sanci of the Forum for Intercultural Dialogue, one of the organizations involved in the effort, acknowledged that words seemed a strange weapon against war. But, he said, “it had an effect: Many more people listened to us, many more are ready to walk this path with us.”
But they have had stiff competition in the opposite direction.
About a week after the prayer meeting, unknown persons threw Molotov cocktails against a nearby Berlin synagogue. Police on special guard duty were able to put out the flames before the building caught fire.
Soon a …