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Religion Churches Open Doors to Muslim Worship

They see it as their Christian duty. But others disagree, saying it extends the hand of fellowship where it was never intended to go. Two Protestant churches are taking some heat from critics for opening their church buildings to Muslims needing places to worship because their own facilities were either too small, or under construction. Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tenn., let members of the Memphis Islamic Center hold Ramadan prayers there last September. And Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Va., allows the Islamic Circle of North America to hold regular Friday prayers in their building while their new mosque is being built. Diane Bechtol of Aldersgate says this is something Christians are called to do: Be neighborly and develop relationships - even those who don’t share your beliefs. "I think it’s a tenet of our Christian faith, and that is that we extend hospitality to the stranger," said Bechtol. "We are a congregation that wants to be helpful to people and if we are asked to help a neighbor in need, that’s what we do." The US Christian community is divided over whether or not to allow Muslims to use their churches as prayer space -- something that two Protestant churches have already done. The US Christian community is divided over whether or not to allow Muslims to use their churches as prayer space -- something that two Protestant churches have already done. But Dr. Alex McFarland, a Christian theologian and radio talk show host, charged these ...

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