With COVID-19 limitations holding Barcelona’s Islamic population from celebrating Ramadan at the usual indoor venues, a Catholic church has opened its open-air cloisters for Muslims to eat and pray together.
As per details, every evening almost 50 to 60 Muslims, many of them homeless, walk into the centuries-old stone passages of the Santa Anna church where they are offered with home-cooked food by the volunteers.
“We are all the same… If you are Catholic or of another religion and I am Muslim, that’s fine,” said Hafid Oubrahim, a 27-year old Moroccan of Berber descent who attends the dinners.
“We are all like brothers and we must help each other too.”
Faouzia Chati, president of the Catalan Association of Moroccan Women, used to organise Iftar gatherings in the city, but restrictions on indoor dining due to the pandemic made her to find an alternative space with good ventilation and area for distancing.
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“People are very happy that Muslims can do Iftar in a Catholic church, because religions serve to unite us, not to separate us,” said Chati.
Sanchez looked on as a man intoned the Muslim evening call to prayer beneath the orange trees of the church’s central courtyard, illuminated by the flames of gas heaters.
“Even with different cultures, different languages, different religions, we are more capable of sitting down and talking than some politicians,” said the rector.
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