Question: "What is the Abrahamic Family House?"
Answer: The Abrahamic Family House is an interfaith enterprise inaugurated in February 2023 on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The location is home to three worship centers: the Imam Al-Tayeb Mosque, the His Holiness Francis Church, and the Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue. Each of these structures is built of equal size to the others, and all are connected by a garden. The intention is for the three world religions connected to Abraham—Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—to gather to learn from each other and celebrate their shared humanity.
The building of the Abrahamic Family House was inspired by the Document of Human Fraternity signed by Pope Francis and Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb in 2019. The main goal of the project is “the pursuit of peaceful coexistence for generations to come. Our space serves to bridge our common humanity through the exchange of knowledge, ongoing dialogue, and the practice of faith” (from the official Abrahamic Family House website, accessed 3/21/23). There is an emphasis on coexistence, multiculturalism, and diversity.
The name Abrahamic Family House is fitting since Christians, Muslims, and Jews all consider Abraham to be a prophet of God and, on some level, a father of their faith. Arabic Muslims trace their lineage back to Abraham through Ishmael (see Genesis 17:20). Ethnic Jews are descended from Isaac, the promised child of God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:4). Christians consider themselves the spiritual children of Abraham, who modeled faith and was justified by God (Galatians 3:6–9).
Working for peace and understanding in the world, as the Abrahamic Family House does, is commendable. However, it is not Abraham who unites us; it is Jesus. And Jesus made some exclusive claims: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is the only way to be reconciled to God and have true peace. Jesus alone saves—not Muhammed, not Jewish tradition, not tolerance of others. “We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23–24).
Perhaps the Abrahamic Family House could be a mission field for born-again Christians to present the gospel to Muslims and Jews and nominal Christians in an atmosphere of open dialogue. What believers must guard against is diluting their faith. The truth of the gospel is clear and unchanging, and compromise with falsehood is spiritually dangerous (see 2 Corinthians 6:14–15).