BLACKBURN – Blackburn Muslims have paid a special visit to St Silas C of E church ahead of the Christmas season, amid efforts to “build a stronger faith relationship and bring neighbors from both communities together.”
“At a time when communities appear to be divided, hate crime and lack of social inclusion is increasing, the Beardwood Muslim and Christian communities of St Silas and Sacred Heart have once again come together to celebrate their faith similarities and to respect their differences,” Imam Fazal Hassan, Muslim Chaplain Royal Blackburn Hospital, told Lancashire Telegraph.
“This local interfaith gathering saw over 100 people from both the Christian and Muslim communities come together to honor the life achievements and sacrifices of Mother Mary.
“I believe coming together on matters of faith will help promote friendship, and love and remove fear and mistrust between communities.
“Interfaith events like these are important to help strengthen community cohesion, aid social inclusion and pave the way for a peaceful co-existence.”
The visit to the church is not the first by the Muslim community. Earlier this year, Muslims were invited to `Eid celebrations hosted by their Christian neighbors.
“For the second time in three months local Christians and Muslims people came together in the spirit of peace to share their faith in an atmosphere of friendship and fellowship,” Reverend Sheelagh Aston and Father James McCartney of St Silas Church and Sacred Hearts Church said in statement.
“The ground breaking event in September held at St Silas Church lead to a further event hosted at Sacred Hearts RC Church with over 100 people gathering to learn how each revere Mary, the mother of Jesus.
“Once again the event was jointly organized by members from both faith communities.
“These events are providing a safe environment for people to share the diversity and commonality of their faiths as well as develop friendships based upon mutual trust, respect and a desire to live in harmony together side by side.”