Muslims pray in Berlin church to comply with social distancing rules

BERLIN – A Berlin church is hosting Muslims who are unable to fit into their mosque for Friday prayers (May 22) because of social distancing guidelines.

The Dar Assalam mosque in the Neukolln 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.

During the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the nearby Martha Lutheran church stepped in to help, hosting Muslim prayers in Arabic and German.

“It is a great sign and it brings joy in Ramadan and joy amid this crisis,” said Mohamed Taha Sabry, the mosque’s imam, who led his congregation in prayer watched over by a stained-glass window depicting the Virgin Mary.

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

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 1.5m.

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