The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity held its second meeting at the New York Public Library on Saturday September 21st for discussions that centred mainly on the construction of the Abrahamic Family House in the United Arab Emirates.
The Abrahamic Family House is a reflection of the Document on Human Fraternity signed by His Holiness, Pope Francis of the Catholic Church, and His Eminence Dr Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif, in Abu Dhabi, during the Papal visit in February this year.
According to the document, an interfaith compound will be constructed in Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi that will contain a church, a mosque and a synagogue, all under one roof, to serve as a compound for interfaith dialogue and to share the values of peaceful coexistence among followers of different faiths, beliefs, nationalities and cultures, Gulf News reported.
Present at the meeting were Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, several senior Emirati officials, and representatives of several institutions, the UAE news agency WAM reported.
The design of the Abrahamic Family House, by the award-winning and globally renowned architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE, was unveiled at the New York event.
Speaking of the initiative, His Eminence Elect Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Higher Committee member, said, "This endeavour is a profoundly moving moment for humanity. Although sadly, evil, hatred and division often make news, there is a hidden sea of goodness that is growing and leads us to hope in dialogue, reciprocal knowledge and the possibility of building, together with the followers of other religions and all men and women of good will, a world of fraternity and peace. I would like to thank the UAE for the concrete commitment shown on behalf of human fraternity."
Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation and a Higher Committee member said, "This is an important opportunity for all who believe in the power of faith and humanity. It will help build bridges between religious leaders and communities as well as foster peace and harmony in an era that is too often defined by difference. I am honoured to be part of such an esteemed group working to champion love over hate, justice over injustice, and faith over fear."
Commenting on the event, Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, Higher Committee member and former adviser to the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif, said, "The formation of the committee has come at a significant time and has required all peace lovers to unite and join the efforts to spread coexistence, brotherhood, and tolerance throughout the world."