For Gaza resident Mahmud Khalaf, it was a bizarre new experience, prostrating himself for his daily Muslim prayers beneath the gaze of an icon of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).
But since the war in Gaza began, he has had no choice but to worship in a Christian house of God, where he took refuge after Israeli air strikes pummelled his neighbourhood in the north of the Palestinian territory.
“They let us pray. It´s changed my view of Christians — I didn´t really know any before, but they’ve become our brothers,” said Khalaf, 27, who admitted he never expected to perform his evening prayers in a church.
“We (Muslims) prayed all together last night,” he said. “Here, the love between Muslims and Christians has grown.” »»» The News (Pakistan)
When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was visited by a delegation of Christians from the nearby province of Narjan, he allowed them to pray in his mosque, in Medina. According to historical accounts, some of the Prophet’s closest companions sometimes prayed in Christian churches when they were in places where there was no mosque.
The Qur’an says, “And you will find that those nearest in affection to the believers (Muslims) are those who say: We are Christians.”
» 26 July 2014