A SHOFAR blast, church bells and a Muslim call to prayer opened the Sunday service at the Peace Cathedral in Tbilisi.
There was incense, ritual fire and sermons from a rabbi, a pastor and an imam.
The service closed with the inauguration of a Torah, just arrived from Haifa, in the synagogue — one of three houses of worship under one roof in an idealistic experiment in interfaith co-operation.
That was the climax of a remarkable weekend for the nondescript former warehouse that now houses the Peace Cathedral.
The first services were held in both the mosque, Masjid as Salaam, and the synagogue, Beit Knesset HaShalom.
At a moment of rising antisemitism and Islamophobia in Georgia, the Peace Cathedral stands as a symbol of possibility.
Sometimes called the Peace Project, it is Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili’s answer to a series of antisemitic, anti-Muslim and homophobic incidents from 2013-2015 in this former Soviet republic.
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