Christians and Muslims to work and pray together over 9/11 weekend


Pictured here:  America’s oldest mosque in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

CEDAR RAPIDS — The way Hassan Selim sees it, we are living in a time where people of all faiths must focus on building bridges and forging friendships.

That hasn’t been an easy task since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, says Selim, imam at the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids.

But there are significant signs of progress.

In fact, that progress is to be on full display this weekend as members from the Islamic Center work and pray side by side with members of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church.

The two congregations are joining forces Saturday for a morning of service at Waypoint’s Madge Phillips Center Shelter, 318 Fifth St. SE, where volunteers plan to paint, clean bathrooms and the kitchen and donate personal hygiene products.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, they’ll gather again, along with leaders of the Inter-Religious Council of Linn County, to host an interfaith prayer service at St. Stephen’s, 610 31st St. SE. During the service, they’ll remember the nearly 3,000 people who died on 9/11 and share prayers.

The event is open to the public.

“People can be of different backgrounds, different religions, but among the things that both Islam and Christianity have in common is that we care about those who can’t care for themselves,” said Ritva Williams, pastor at St. Stephen’s. “There’s no reason we can’t work together to make a difference.”




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