United we stand: Muslims praying in Berlin church during Ramzan
Updated: May 23, 2020, 04:40 PM(IST)
While the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, a Berlin church is hosting Muslims who are unable to fit into their mosque for their prayers during Ramzan, setting a forward example of communal harmony.
The Dar Assalam mosque in the Neukölln district normally welcomes hundreds of Muslims to its Friday services. But it can currently only accommodate 50 people at a time under Germany's coronavirus restrictions.
The church, a red-brick neo-renaissance building in Berlin's Kreuzberg district could hardly offer a sharper contrast to the cultural centre in Neukoelln where the Muslim congregation is accustomed to gathering.
Help in need
The church is hosting Muslims who are unable to fit into their mosque for Friday prayers because of social distancing guidelines.
During the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the nearby Martha Lutheran church stepped in to help, hosting Muslim prayers in Arabic and German.
Social distancing norms
Places of worship reopened in Germany on May 4 after being shut for weeks under a coronavirus lockdown, but worshippers must maintain a minimum distance from one another of 1.5 metres.
Mosques facing bankruptcy
The Islamic Council, an umbrella group of 400 mosques, said in April that many face bankruptcy because the closures stretched into the holy fasting month of Ramadan, usually a vital period for donations.