Sheikh Abdullah hosts interfaith reception in Washington DC

Reception on Capitol Hill celebrates announcement of Abrahamic Family House

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, hosts an interfaith reception in Washington DC. Wam
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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, hosted a reception with members of Congress and the interfaith community in Washington DC, on Thursday to celebrate the UAE's recently announced Abrahamic Family House.

The project will be an interfaith center on Saadiyat Island featuring a mosque, church and synagogue side-by-side. The aim of the Abrahamic Family House will be to enhance understanding about all faiths and nationalities.

Around 70 guests, including members of Congress, Administration officials, religious leaders, members of the media and think tank analysts, attended the reception on Capitol Hill.

"Coexistence and tolerance for everyone — no matter their nationality, religion or belief — is one of our collective, shared core values," said Sheikh Abdullah. "We see a positive future, where people from all faiths and backgrounds live together as one."

An artist's illustration of the Abrahamic Family House to be built on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Edelman

Rabbi Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation and a member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, said the interfaith centre will be a place of learning, dialogue and worship, focused on creating mutual understanding among people of all faiths and belief systems.

"In a fractured world of increased hate speech and acts of hatred the Document of Human Fraternity, singed last February by Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, and  the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad El

Tayeb, give us hope," said Rabbi Lustig. "It asks us to remember that we are part of one human family who are all created in the image of God. It asks us to choose love over hate, care over conflict and to choose peace over strife. It reminds us that we have the power to shape our future by how we choose to treat our fellow member of the human family."

The Abrahamic Family House was first announced during the visit of Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed El Tayeb to Abu Dhabi in February.

Named after the revered prophet Abraham, the centre is being designed by the renowned British architect Sir David Adjaye.