More often than not, people with the same ancestors fight as if they want to cut each other’s throat. Someone has to remind them continuously that they are brothers. What happened in Ur, Iraq, 10 days ago is a good example of this.
Ur is an ancient city in Mesopotamia near the mouth of the Euphrates, a hometown of Abraham, the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is a city where the Sumerian culture bloomed but is now in ruins. Believers of various religions gathered in the city. One person read out the Bible and another person read out Quran to start the meeting. The stories were about Abraham. The part where Abraham leave Ur for Canaan on God’s order was read from the Bible, while the part where he thanks God for giving him two sons — Ishmael and Isaac — was read out from Quran. It was more of a testimony than a recitation that three religions shared the same root.
Descendants of Abraham gathered in Ur because of Pope Francis who was visiting Iraq. He mentioned Genesis, which was an extension of the previous reading. “Look now toward heaven and count the stars, if thou be able to number them. So shall thy seed be.” It is a part where God promises many descendants. And his seed has spread countlessly. But they have split into different religions and started to fight against each other as time passed. Even people with the same religion fight each other, even in this moment.
In the middle of the desert, the pope told the brothers with different religions to think about the night sky. “The stars light up the sky because they shine together.” It is a message to remove hatred and violence between brothers by shining together. It is a message to wipe tears of those who are persecuted. It is a message to make concerted efforts for Syrian refugees who live in hell due to the civil war. Simply put, it is a message to look up the stars that Abraham looked up to and learn from them.