Religion news 24 February

Image credit: GertrudK

Building starts this year on the world’s first hybrid church, mosque and synagogue 

The foundation stone of the world’s first hybrid church, mosque and synagogue in Berlin, will be laid on 27 May. The project “House of One” was the idea of a Protestant pastor, Gregor Hohberg, after he discovered the ruins of St Peter’s, Berlin’s first church. The building is expected to be open in 2023 after a project that will have taken 12 years at a cost of 47.2 million. Three separate prayer rooms – synagogue, church and mosque – are connected by a central meeting room, the domed hall, which it is hoped will encourage dialogue.

Places of worship in Scotland given re-opening date

Places of worship are producing guidance on when and how they may re-open for services. In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has announced that churches, mosques and synagogues are set to open in early April, taking into account that Easter and Passover fall on 4 April.

Church plans to tackle housing crisis unveiled in detail today

The Archbishops pf Canterbury and York lead a webinar today (24 Feb) outlining the details of their much publicised report into housing, church and community.  The report, published on Sunday, suggested using church property for social benefit and making better use of its portfolio of land for affordable housing. Among the speakers are Helen Barnard (Director of Joseph Rowntree Foundation) and Danny Kruger, Conservative MP, and author of ‘Levelling Up Our Communities’ suggesting ways in which faith groups and government could work together.

Lords now suggesting judicial committee to decide on genocide

The House of Lords is continuing determinedly to give the legal system a role in deciding whether a country is guilty of genocide, a ruling that could affect trade with China, whose treatment of Uighurs  has been condemned around the world. Having been thwarted twice in their aim to allow a court to rule,  the Lords are now suggesting the setting up of a five-strong parliamentary judicial committee to assess evidence.  This will go back to the Commons which has twice rejected any move to involve the judiciary.

Protests against enforced cremation as Imran Khan visits Sri Lanka

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has arrived in Sri Lanka as 2,000 prople protested at the government’s rule to enforce cremation for all victims of Covid-19. Muslim laws allow burial but not cremation. They hope he will take up the burial issue when he meets his counterparts

Resistance to removal of nun’s remains from Sussex to Philadelphia

The Guardian reports on a proposal to remove the remains of a nun, Venerable Mother Cornelia Connelly,  from the chapel of Mayfield school in Sussex and transport them to the Catholic Cathedral in Philadelphia. It’s been suggested this will support her chances of becoming a saint. The Vatican has approved, but Catholic Historic Churches and Wealden district council need to give their approval to and hundreds of people have objected.