Sun, 30 Oct 2016
MUSLIMS and Christians have been worshipping together in Newbury as a show of religious solidarity.
Last weekend local Christians attended Muslim Friday prayers and local Muslims, in turn, attended a Christian Sunday church service to “pray for greater understanding and peace in the world”.
The Rev Paul Cowan of St George’s Church, Newbury, and Howard Grace, a member of Newbury Quakers, attended Friday prayers in Thatcham as guests of the local Muslim community, and then Mohammad Tahir, Shahzad Nadeem and other members of the local Muslim community joined the congregation of St George’s for their Sunday service.
Mr Cowan said: “There are many events happening across the world that can too easily generate fear, distrust and division between people of different faiths and cultures.
“After the tragic murder of the Roman Catholic priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, in northern France back in July, I was struck by the positive power of photographs the following week showing Muslims attending Christian services of worship as an act of solidarity.
“What a perfect response to those who wish to sow division and hate. This has been our own small act of that same solidarity locally.”
Mr Tahir said: “There are striking similarities between people of all religions, which becomes apparent when we attend each other’s religious ceremonies.
“And on a deeper level, we are all humans, we are all from the same race. There has always been more that unites us than what divides, but attempts of instilling hate and distance between people of varying cultures, ethnicities and religions can sometimes fog those elements of commonality.”