Despite growing global calls for maintaining religious harmony, plans to convert a chapel in Manchester used by Christians into a Muslim prayer room have prompted anger.
The recommendation put forth in a letter by Catholic chaplaincy team of North Manchester General Hospital to the parishes prompted an online petition that received 1,000 signatures within 26 hours.
The letter read, "We write to inform you of a proposal to close the Roman Catholic Chapel of St Raphael in order to convert it into a Muslim prayer room.”
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Elaborating, it said, "Worship spaces are going to be provided for Muslims, Jews and Protestant Christians, and even a quiet room for people of no faith at all.”
It had also proposed that the Catholics would share the existing Protestant chapel.
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Reacting to this, Father Murphy who initiated the petition said, "We are not against the Muslim community having a prayer room, but don't see the sense in taking away a chapel that is serving one community to serve another.”
Manchester’s councilor Pat Karney also voiced his concerns, saying: "I am very disturbed to hear of these plans. Thousands of Catholic families in north Manchester, including my own, have used this mini chapel. I will be meeting with the hospital bosses to clarify their intentions."
The article first appeared on Sunday Express