The Global House of Friendship and Hope

Elijah Interfaith Institute - logo

Source: Elijah Interfaith Institute


In this age, when friendships across faiths and nations are lacking in much of the globe and interfaith movements are characterized by outward reaching action, the Global House of Friendship and Hope will go to the core of the spiritual life and the life of prayer of faith traditions.

At the Global House of Friendship and Hope, the faithful can expand their sense of devotion, while broadening hearts and minds to other religions, recognizing deeper spiritual commonalities. Youth and adults alike can discover a spiritual experience and deeper appreciation of nature and of humanity. And all can return to their homes with broadened knowledge, fuller appreciation of the spiritual life and greater appreciation towards reaching out to others in friendship.

History and Foundations

About 800 years ago, St. Francis held a historic dialogue with a Muslim Sultan that is remembered today as a pivotal moment that demonstrated the power of building friendships across faiths for the sake of peace and mutual understanding. In 1986, Pope John Paul II held the historic World Day of Prayer and Peace in Assisi, bringing together the leaders of the world’s many faiths for the development of fellowship and interfaith harmony. This gave expression to a new form of interfaith engagement – prayer, in publicly visible gestures featuring religious leaders of all faiths.

Assisi’s status as an interfaith capital only grew with successive interfaith summits led by Pope John Paul II in 1993 and 2002. In 2011, the summit was presided over by Pope Benedict. Pope Francis continued this tradition in 2016. Now, the Global House of Friendship and Hope will officially enshrine this tradition of peace through the power of sight, sound, prayer and togetherness.

The Global House of Friendship and Hope builds on the existing foundations of convenings of religious leaders in Assisi and on the inspiration of St. Francis as a figure of encounter. It will bring Elijah’s friendship initiative and the history of Assisi as a meeting place to the awareness of all visitors, through immersion in the accumulated history, records and testimonies of friendship of religious leaders and issue an invitation to follow their example.

A Major News Story

We are delighted to report that Eternal Word Network (the global Catholic network) has run a story on the Assisi project, featured in its most popular new program – Vaticano. The feelings of friendship and the expression of hope that come across this story are a sign of what the future Global House will deliver.

Friendship and Hope Website

In conjunction with the release of this news story, Elijah has released a new website -

The website describes the project, makes available letters of endorsement from noted Catholic and Anglican leaders, specifically Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury (Emeritus) Rowan Williams, as well bishops, leaders of religious communities, Virginia Theological Seminary and more.

Renderings of the exhibition are presented, as is a detailed program of contents of the House of Friendship and Prayer.

Engage and Support

This is a great moment for the Elijah community. It is a time for us to turn to all our readers and to ask them to join us in making this vision a reality. There is a lot you can do to contribute to the success of this project.

  1. Share the message (the website, the news story or both) with your friends. Let the word get out.
  2. Donate. With every donation, no matter how small, we come closer to the goal of establishing the world’s first interreligious museum/experience/encounter devoted to friendship and to the inspiration of prayer across religions. Realize the Vision of Friendship and Hope
  3. Become an ambassador for friendship and hope. Each one of our readers can become a member of a community that helps us to realize this project. With a few clicks you can become and ambassador for the project, sharing it within your network, and bringing support to the project. A minimal effort on your part will lead to maximal results in realizing a common goal. Become an Ambassador
  4. Pray. The work of God is effected by prayer. The experience of encountering the prayer life of diverse religions must be prepared by means of prayer. We ask for your prayers for the realization of this vision. We would be honored if you would choose to share them with us, so that, when appropriate, we can further share with others.