Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb and the the head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis II reviewed the designs of the new interfaith complex, the Abrahamic Family House, during their meeting with members of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity in the Vatican City on Friday.
The Abrahamic Family House, which is the first project supervised by the Human Fraternity committee, will be built in Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi, and is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
The complex will comprise a church, a mosque, and a synagogue, sharing a collective space.
Grand Imam El-Tayeb was in in Rome both to meet with Pope Francis II and to participate in the "Interfaith Summit on Promoting Child Dignity in the Digital World," held on 14-15 November, at the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Design of the Abrahamic Family House by architect David Adjaye.
The Abrahamic Family House should be a reflection of the values in the Document on Human Fraternity
, and aims to promote inter-religious dialogue and the values of tolerance and coexistence among peoples of different religions, cultures and beliefs, according to Al-Azhar.
During their meeting with members of the Human Fraternity committee, Pope Francis and Sheikh El-Tayeb urged the committee members to turn the Document on Human Fraternity into tangible work on the ground.
Pope Francis told the committee that the Abrahamic Family House was a “genius idea” and an embodiment of the values of human fraternity.
The Document on Human Fraternity was launched in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi
after it was signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh El-Tayeb.
The document is a joint declaration of “good and heartfelt aspirations” from the two religious leaders, and should serve as a “guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect.”
The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity was formed to achieve the objectives of the document through executive measures and operational frameworks.
The latest member to join the committee is former director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Irina Bokova, 67, who was the first woman to serve as UNESCO director-general for two consecutive terms (2009-2017).