In a rare show of love and solidarity, a Berlin church on friday offered his facility to a nearby mosque so the mosque may comply with physical distancing guidelines when hosting Friday prayers.
Monika Matthias, pastor of the Lutheran Church said she had felt moved by the Muslim call to prayer and had to take part in it. “I gave a speech in German. 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.”
She said opening the church to the Muslim worshippers was a community decision that has brought everybody closer. “Whether this partnership will go on and how it will go on, that is still open, but I think getting to know each other and what we have experienced together in this time is strengthening for whatever may lie ahead,” she said.
The Imam of the mosque, Taha Sabry said the liberality of the Lutheran Church is a product of genuine solidarity at a critical time. He put it this way: “The church saw how Muslims were suffering and asked us: ‘Do you need space to pray?’ That is an amazing sign of solidarity in these times. This pandemic has made us a community. Crises bring people to get together.”
He led his Muslim congregation in prayer over-looked by a stained-glass window depicting the Virgin Mary.
The Dar Assalam mosque in Germany capital of Neukoelln district may only be able to accommodate 50 out of the hundreds of worshippers who thring the mosque for Friday prayers under the guidelines issued to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Germany allowed places of worship to re-open this with instructions that worshippers maintain a minimum of 1.5 meters distance from one another.
An Islamic worshipper, Samer Hamdoun disclosed that the church environment took some time to get used to, as it was a strange feeling because of the musical instruments, the pictures. He concluded: “But when you look, when you forget the small details, this is the House of God in the end.”