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World news in brief

04 June 2021


Firm foundation: (left to right) Pastor Gregor Hohberg, Rabbi Andreas Nachama, and Imam Kadir Sanci stand in front of the remains of St Peter’s Church, in Berlin, Germany, to lay the foundation stone of the interfaith place of worship, House of One

Firm foundation: (left to right) Pastor Gregor Hohberg, Rabbi Andreas Nachama, and Imam Kadir Sanci stand in front of the remains of St Peter’s Church...

Berlin to build ‘House of One’ interfaith centre

A NEW interfaith worship centre — combining a church, a mosque, and a synagogue — is being built on the foundations of a 13th-century church in Leipziger Straβe, Berlin, in Germany, which was badly bombed during the Second World War. The foundation stone of the planned 46-metre-high construction, House of One, was laid on Thursday of last week by Wolfgang Schäuble, the President of the Bundestag (the federal parliament). He described the project, which is expected to take four years to complete, as having the “theological aspiration to be open to other spiritual perspectives with equal respect”. It is being led by Imam Kadir Sanci, Rabbi Andreas Nachama, and Pastor Gregor Hohberg of the Evangelical Church.


Dr Innes welcomes ‘votes for life’ for expats

A NEW measure, announced in the Queen’s Speech last month (News, 14 May), to scrap the 15-year limit on the right to vote for British citizens living abroad has been welcomed by the Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes. The measure, which came into force on Thursday of last week, means that British expatriates now have voting rights for life. Dr Innes said on Tuesday: “This measure may help UK nationals in my diocese, and elsewhere, who wish to retain a connection with the UK, and to be able to participate in national decisions of great importance to the future of the country.”


Nigerian children kidnapped by gunmen

ABOUT 200 children have been kidnapped from the Salihu Tanko Islamic school, Niger state, in Nigeria, on Sunday, it has been reported. Gunmen reportedly attacked the town of Tegina, in the Rafi local-government area of the state, on motorcycles, shooting “indiscriminately”. Abduction for ransom is becoming a growing industry amid the economic crisis in country. In April 2014, 276 girls were abducted by jihadist group Boko Haram from a secondary school in Chibok in Borno state (News, 2 May 2014). More than a hundred of the girls are still missing.


Online services still wanted, US survey finds

EIGHT out of ten people in the United States would like places of worship to offer online services after Covid restrictions are lifted, a survey of 1000 people in the US suggests. The research, conducted by Censuswide between 29 March and 1 April, was commissioned by the religious and community app Muslim Pro. The study also found that 44 per cent of all participants would be more likely to use online prayer and other digital options than attend a physical place of worship; one third (31 per cent) said that they would prefer a mixture; 18 per cent said that they would prefer to go to a place of worship and not use digital services, even if they were available.

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