Abrahamic Family House Opening Marks Important Step in Furthering Religious Tolerance in the UAE

Aligning with the country’s priority of furthering religious tolerance, the UAE opened the Abrahamic Family House on February 16, 2023, in the country’s capital as a beacon of inclusivity and interfaith harmony. The Abrahamic Family House complex is home to three religious spaces: His Holiness Francis Catholic Church, Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue and the Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb Islamic Mosque.

The Abrahamic Family House complex in the UAE capital.

Unifying Religions in the UAE

Ideation for constructing the complex came after His Holiness Pope Francis visited the UAE in February 2019 for the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. The Abrahamic Family House highlights the values laid out in the Document for people of different faiths living peacefully in the world.

Unified by one complex and similar exteriors, each house of worship boasts a unique interior, designed to reflect each religion. The architectural design of the Abrahamic Family House also serves as a representation of the UAE’s goals for a future based on cooperation, inclusion and peace. Visitors are able to experience and learn about religious services, sacred rituals and holy scriptures of Catholicism, Judaism and Islam at the respective worship spaces.

Apart from these three houses of worship, the Abrahamic Family House also includes a fourth space dedicated to community use. This non-denominational space serves as an educational center hosting programs, events, daily religious services, international summits and more to further religious tolerance.

Bridging Understanding and Tolerance Over the Years

The UAE has long valued inclusion, mutual respect and religious freedom. Since even before the country’s founding in 1971, Emirati leaders have encouraged interfaith dialogue and a culture of learning and understanding. Laws protecting religious freedoms and worshipers of all faiths have been enacted throughout the years and, in 2016, the UAE established a Ministry of Tolerance and a National Tolerance Program that promotes the values of tolerance and coexistence through various initiatives. Later, in 2022, Emirati Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba joined US Senator Mitt Romney for an open house tour of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — of which a temple will soon be constructed in Dubai.

Most recently, the UAE has created other spaces and programs similar to the Abrahamic Family House to support tolerance and inclusion, including the Manara Centre. The idea for the Manara Centre was inspired by conversations between Ambassador Al Otaiba and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, regarding a shared commitment to opposing hate and advancing coexistence.

Learn More About the UAE’s Work Toward Interfaith Tolerance

With a vision for “a peaceful coexistence for generations to come,” the Abrahamic Family House serves as a symbol of the UAE’s values of inclusivity and tolerance and will present Emiratis with the opportunity to connect with and explore religions for years to come.

To learn more about the Abrahamic Family House and view visiting hours, visit their website at https://www.abrahamicfamilyhouse.ae/.