Ontario church welcomes Muslims Friday congregational prayer
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A local church in St. Thomas, Ontario, has cleared a room to host, Juma prayer, Muslim congregational prayer every Friday hosting Muslims who used to travel for long miles to perform the weekly prayer.
“In the winter time, too, it gets dangerous and there’s very limited time to have lunch and then pray and then the drive to come back,” said Iffat Farooqui, who works at a law office told CBC News on Friday.
In a city with no prayer space, the offer from St. Hilda’s St. Luke’s Anglican Church to host Muslim prayers solved a key problem for Muslim worshippers.
The solution was suggested after Farooqui, a longtime diversity committee member at the church, reached out to church board member Nancy Lovelock about finding a space that can accommodate up to 30 people, a call which was welcomed by the Christian board member extending an invitation to the Muslim community after consulting with staff.
“That’s what good neighbors do and that’s what people who are about helping other people do” said Lovelock calling that a win for everybody.
“It will increase our understanding of a different faith and be good for both of us to get to know one another a little better.”
The church and Muslim community in St. Thomas maintain a strong bond. Last year, they gathered for a unity dinner.
They also worked together to help settle refugees.
“It sends a positive message … that we can work together and live side-by-side,” said Farooqui.