05/20/2016, 09.15
PAKISTAN
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Faisalabad, 20 years of Christians and Muslims praying side by side

by Shafique Khokhar

The Church and mosque are only separated by a wall. There has never been any violence or controversy. Islamic religious: "We have changed prayer schedules so as not to disturb eachother. We installed the speakers inside the mosque". The parish priest: "Before being Muslim and Christian we are men, and this unites us in prayer".

 

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - Muslims and Christians praying side by side for more than 20 years without any violent incident. This is the reality of Nazimabad, Faisalabad (Punjab district), where a mosque and a Catholic church stand together on a road and even share the same wall. The Christian place of worship was built in 1970, while the foundations of the mosque were laid in 1994. The locals say that at the two facilities were originally five marla (about 100 meters) distant, but then the Islamic place of worship expanded to reach the side of the church.

Imam Qari Zubair, syas that "both places of worship have set their times of prayer so that no one has problems. We have not installed the speakers on the roof of the mosque as usual, but we put them inside, so that our Christian brothers and sisters are not disturbed in their prayers".

Fr. Basheer has been the pastor of the church for 30 years: "In 1994, when our Muslim brothers were going to build the mosque next to the church, they asked us if we had any objections, we accepted their decision with enthusiasm. We've changed our hours of morning prayer so that they do not have problems during the Namaz [morning prayer ed] ". "True humanity - continues the priest - is to serve man: before being Muslims and Christians we are all men and this brings us closer as we say our prayers together."

Muhammad Rafique, a Muslim in his 70's, says: "If someone were to ask me how is it that Muslims and Christians pray together, I would say that all the credit goes to the people of the city, from both communities, who have open hearts and want to stay away from any type of confrontation and controversy. In front of the two places of worship we have a park, where Christians from Muslims mingle in friendship".

Qari Zubair concludes by saying that Mohammed wrote: "One is God and one is your forefather (Adam). An Arab is not better than a non-Arab, and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab".

(Amir Butt collaborated)

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