German church opens doors for Muslim prayers

A German church in Berlin has given a new meaning to religious tolerance, as it opened its doors to Moslem worshippers unable to fit into their mosque under new social distancing rules.

Germany has rolled out strict social distancing regulation (five feets apart) when it allowed religious services to resume on May 4.

This meant that the Dar Assalam mosque in the city’s Neukölln District in the German capital could only accommodate a fraction of its congregation.

Women wearing headscarves and face masks attend Friday prayers at a Berlin church

However, in a show of solidarity, the Martha Lutheran church in Kreuzberg offered to help by hosting Friday prayers at the end of Ramadan, the BBC reported.

During the month of Ramadan, Moslems abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk. Normally families and friends would gather to break their fast and attend communal prayers, but in Berlin – as in countries across the world – this year’s celebrations have been affected.

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“It is a great sign, and it brings joy in Ramadan and joy amid this crisis,” the BBC quoted mosque’s imam as having  told Reuters news agency.

“This pandemic has made us a community. Crises bring people to get together.”

“It was a strange feeling because of the musical instruments, the pictures,” congregation member, Samer Hamdoun, said, noting the differences in the two religions.

“But when you look, when you forget the small details. This is the house of God in the end.”

Worshippers sit on their prayer mats during Friday prayers at a church in Berlin

Even the church’s pastor took part in the service.

“I gave a speech in German,” said Pastor Monika Matthias.

“And during prayer, I could only say yes, yes, yes, because we have the same concerns and we want to learn from you. And it is beautiful to feel that way about each other,” he explained.



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