I am so glad to share this recent celebration and the ongoing work of the Peace Cathedral in the Republic of Georgia in creating the Peace Synagogue and the Peace Mosque in its midst. I am grateful to Metropolitan Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili for sharing this work of bringing faiths together.
Photo by Nate laTochilashvili
Ambassador of Israel at the Peace Cathedral
On the 31st of July, 2020, the Peace Cathedral observed a Muslim feast of Eid Al-Adha. The Cathedral choir chanted Muslim prayers and the presiding Bishop recited a sura from the Quran in Arabic.
The prayer service was attended by the Ambassador of Israel, H.E. Ran Gidor. The Ambassador thanked the Peace Cathedral for its peace building ministry and donated 3000 GEL for the Peace Mosque.
The Peace Cathedral is in the process of constructing Peace Mosque and Peace Synagogue within the precincts of the sanctuary. The Cathedral has developed following principles for fundraising. If you are a Muslim you are not allowed to make contribution to the Peace Mosque. Christians and Jews are welcome to do so. If you are a Jew you are not allowed to make contribution to the Peace Synagogue. Muslims and Christians are welcome to do so.
“I am proud to be able to participate in the project initiated by the Peace Cathedral by making a modest contribution to it. I understand this is a drop the ocean but I hope it will play its role.“ said the Ambassador after having handed the check with the contribution towards the Peace Mosque project.
“This is indeed a unique event when a Jewish Ambassador attends the Muslimfeast day at a Christian Cathedral and makes donation to Cathedral’s interfaith project.“ Said Bishop Ilia Osepashvili after the service.
It is a customary for the Peace Cathedral to celebrate the main feast days with other Abrahamic religions. The Eid Al-adha is the feast which recalls one on the most significant episodes from the life of Abraham, who has been the paternal figure in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
“The Judaeo-Christian and Islamic story of Abraham’s sacrifice is still relevant in this world which is torn apart by divisions, tribalism and violence.“ said Metropolitan Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili in his homily, „The story of Abraham’s sacrifice is teaching us that the strong should not rise a hand over the weak, with or without a knife; The rich should not exploit the poor; the educated should not take advantage over uneducated; the majority representatives should not persecute minority representatives…“