Brotherly love: A mosque, church and synagogue to stand by each other in Nebraska
A multimillion-dollar U.S. interfaith initiative plans to bring a mosque, church and synagogue all onto a single 35-acre campus in Omaha, Nebraska.
“We thought, let’s intentionally choose our neighbors,” The Huffington Post reported, Vic Gutman, a spokesman for the Tri-Faith Initiative, which launched five years ago as a grassroots interfaith effort, as saying.
“We want to form a relationship between all Jews, all Muslims and all Christians,” Gutman added.
The Tri-Faith Initiative, which quickly gained funding and community support among the city’s religious leaders, announced this week that each religious group representing the Abrahamic religions completed purchasing land deals for the interfaith campus for $5 million.
The campus is expected to have a Tri-Faith center that will have educational and social facilities to be used by all the campus’ religious groups.
Building the center is “an opportunity not only to learn to tolerate people of different backgrounds and beliefs and aspirations, but to find ways to even celebrate all we have in common, to learn and grow precisely as women and men and children who experience God in different ways and call God by different names,” said Rt. Rev. J. Scott Barker, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, at a press conference.
John Lehr, President of Temple Israel, said that “during this time of great economic and geopolitical uncertainty, our congregants have made such a bold and committed show in support of our future. That our Episcopal and Muslim friends have successfully cast their votes as well ... surely bodes well for the times that are upon us and for the community which sustains us.”
As for Syed Mohiuddin, president and co-founder of the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture said that “we are an interrelated unity and should and can be working partners in the service of God.”
The Tri-Faith Initiative is already promoting its own interfaith prayer on its website. It reads: “Our vision is to build bridges of respect, acceptance and trust, to challenge stereotypes, to learn from each other and to counter the influence of fear and misunderstanding.”