(The Washington Post) – Washington National Cathedral, known for presidential funerals and other major spiritual services, will host a Muslim prayer service for the first time Friday.
The cathedral, part of the Episcopal Church, has long held high-profile interfaith events, and some mosques hold services in synagogues or churches if they need overflow space. But organizers said Monday that they are seeking to make a statement by having Muslim leaders come and hold their midday service in such a visible Christian house of worship.
“We want the world to see the Christian community is partnering with us and is supporting our religious freedom in the same way we are calling for religious freedom for all minorities in Muslim countries,” said Rizwan Jaka, a spokesman with the prominent ADAMS mosque in Sterling, Va., one of the co-sponsors of Friday’s service. “Let this be a lesson to the world.”
The service, which will begin around 12:20 and is for invited guests only, developed out of a relationship between the cathedral’s director of liturgy, the Rev. Gina Campbell, and the South African ambassador to the United States, Ebrahim Rasool, who is Muslim. The two worked together on a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, Jaka said.