Culture

“Long Night of Religions” 2016: A Celebration of Religious Diversity in Berlin

Berlin’s faith groups unite to celebrate tolerance and cross-cultural understanding

September 15th, 2016
Myron Kanter-Bax, Berlin Global
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For the 5th consecutive year following its launch in 2011, the “Long Night of Religions” will take place on 17th of September 2016 in Germany's multi-cultural capital.

Five years ago various religious groups gathered together in Berlin and decided to launch an ambitious project which has become extremely topical in recent years, in light of increased debate surrounding religion in European society. Since then religious sites in Berlin open their doors once a year for a “long night”, both to provide the public an opportunity to experience Berlin’s cultural and religious diversity, and to offer an insight into the various faith groups of the city.

Berlin’s “Long Night of Religions” is an annual event of high symbolic significance. A celebration of cultural diversity, the event conveys a powerful message of religious tolerance by illuminating the city's multicultural environment and religious diversity.

On 17th of September 88 synagogues, mosques, churches, Buddhist and Hindu temples, religious community centers, small spiritual groups and interfaith initiatives from across Berlin - from Judaism to Paganism, Christianity to Hinduism - will take part in this year's event, opening their doors from 18.00 until 24.00 to an estimated 10,000 visitors.

As in recent years the program will be diverse, hosting a wide range of exhibitions, concerts, lectures, meditation sessions, rituals and discussions, offering an insight into the different religions.

Despite only 36 percent of Berlin's population claiming to have a faith, the German capital is home to numerous religious communities. The “Long Night of Religions” aspires to promote a dialogue among people with different ideologies, particularly with respect to the critical and highly topical theme of peaceful coexistence and tolerance.

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