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Christians Share St. John's Episcopal Church In Scotland With Muslims (PHOTOS)

03/19/2013 11:41 am 11:41:36 | Updated Mar 19, 2013

A Christian church in Scotland has taken "love thy neighbor" seriously by opening its doors to Muslim worshippers from a neighboring mosque.

At St. John's Episcopal Church in Aberdeen, hundreds of Muslims use parts of the main building to pray five times per day. According to the Guardian, the arrangement began when noticeable overcrowding issues at the nearby mosque concerned a leader at St. John's.

Story continues after photo christians share church with muslims

"One day when I was walking past the mosque, I found 20 or 30 people outside on the ground around the pavements with their hands and feet exposed," Rev. Isaac Poobalan told the paper. "You could see their breath. When I spoke to people at the church about the situation, someone actually said to me this was not our problem, but I had seen it with my own eyes, so it was a problem."

According to the Sun, Chief Imam Ahmed Megharbi would sometimes hold services in the wind and the rain. Now, Megharbi leads prayers in parts of the church hall. Poobalan even offered to cover religious images with screens.

Story continues after photo christians share church with muslims

Although not unheard of in the United States, church officials believe the arrangement is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Megharbi told the Daily Mail that the relationship is friendly and respectful.

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