Back to museums Museum of Civilizations and Religions

Today I have built a synagogue, a mosque and a cathedral, to pray there in the name of love for all beings, so that ancestral injustice disappears, and brotherhood that tends to disappear.

These few words engraved on the facade of the Museum are those of "Ali Fouzi Gahbiche," famous advertising and man of Tunisian culture.

This museum, a crossroads of civilizations and religions, is a tribute to the tolerance and coexistence of the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. All the exhibits: objects, paintings, documents and models, reflect the particular history of these religions in Tunisia. The building that houses the museum reproduces the plan of a Tunisian mosque of the classical period, from the 9th to the 11th century .

It is marked by its front decorated with red and white bricks, borrowed in the Andalusian style attested by the Great Mosque of Cordoba, and which entered the 10th century in the mosque Zitouna of Tunis. The monument and its annexes are arranged into a museum of religions And Tunisian religious architecture from antiquity to the present day. Models, photographs, plans, engravings, drawings and objects are gathered thematically and tell the story of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These three beliefs have spread in the order of their appearance in the East; Little by little Islam has become the dominant religion. The originality of Tunisia lies in the fact that they have coexisted for centuries.


t is considered that Judaism, which was the first monotheistic religion to come into being, would have reached Africa in the 3rd century BC and especially in 70 AD after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by the Emperor Titus (79-81) Which would have deported thousands of Jews to Carthage. Some historians even think that they were present in the country at the time Punic but the documentation is insufficient.


Christianity also had a great success and an enormous spread in Africa, introduced in the country as early as the 2nd century, it spread very quickly and made many followers in spite of the persecutions. In the middle of the third century, the Church of Carthage, led by St Cyprian, played a leading role. As for the fourth century, the emperors adopted Christianity, the province was covered with bishoprics, and basilicas were erected throughout the towns. In the 4th century, Saint Augustine, one of the fathers of the Christian Church, was born in Thagaste "Souk Hras" and was Bishop of Bone "Annaba".


The Arab conquest of Ifriqiya was slow and difficult. Begun in a spectacular way by the battle of Sufetula / Sbeitla in 647, which led to the death of the Byzantine Patriarch and the acquisition of an enormous booty, the final occupation did not take place until half a century later. Islamization spread gradually from the seventh century, starting from the foundation of Kairouan in 670. This new religion finally supplanted Christianity, whose gradual retreat to last at least until the twelfth century. This disappearance of Christianity in Africa has given rise to much debate, but it would seem that the very close proximity of Italy has led the Christians to emigrate. Islam was gradually adopted by the great majority of the inhabitants of the Maghreb and Andalusia, it spread very quickly both in the towns and in the countryside.

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