Catholic Church opens doors to Muslim diners during Ramadan

Catholic church Muslim ramadan

A Catholic church in Barcelona has offered up its open-air cloisters for Muslims to eat and pray together during Ramadan.

With COVID-19 restrictions preventing Barcelona’s Islamic population from celebrating Ramadan at the usual indoor venues, Santa Anna church came to the rescue.

Every evening between 50 and 60 Muslims, many of them homeless, stream into the centuries-old stone passages of the church, where volunteers offer a hearty meal of home-cooked food.

“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.”

During the month of Ramadan, observant Muslims do not eat between sunrise and sundown. They break their fast only after nightfall with a meal known as Iftar.

Faouzia Chati, president of the Catalan Association of Moroccan Women, used to organize Iftar gatherings in the city. But limits on indoor dining forced her to seek an alternative space with good ventilation and room for distancing.

She found a receptive ear in Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna’s rector. Sanchez sees the meeting of different faiths as emblematic of civic coexistence.

“People are very happy that Muslims can do Iftar in a Catholic church. Religions should serve to unite us, not to separate us,” said Chati.

“Even with different cultures, different languages, different religions, we are more capable of sitting down and talking than some politicians,” said the rector.


LiCAS News


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,