Christian Church Welcomes Muslim Worshippers

Christian Church Welcomes Muslim WorshippersOn a bitterly cold and snowing afternoon in Aberdeen, the doors of St John’s Episcopal Church are open to hundreds of Muslim worshippers, arriving for daily prayers.

The familiar sounds of Christian hymns have been replaced with Islamic prayer in the chapel this Friday lunchtime and the church priest with the imam from the neighbouring mosque. Muslims from the Syed Shah Mustafa Jame Masjid mosque next door share this church with Christian worshippers up to five times a day.

‘True to his faith’

The rector at St John’s has opened his doors to Muslims because there was not enough space for them to pray in their own mosque and many were forced to worship outside on the street.

The Reverend Isaac Poobalan, who grew up in Southern India surrounded by Islam, said he would not have been true to his faith if he did not help his neighbours.

Reverend Poobalan adds: ”I felt very distressed when I saw my neighbours praying out in the cold and I knew I needed to do something to help… I know I cannot solve the world’s problems, but when there is a problem I can solve, I will.”

‘Respect each other’

Reverend Poobalan asked his congregation for permission to open the church doors to Muslims. At first, Muslims were reluctant to accept the invite, but they have now settled in well into their new home.

Christians believe Jesus is the son of God, while Muslims regard him as a prophet. But despite these differences, there does not seem to be any tension in St John’s Church, with both faiths having learnt to respect each other.

What can you say about this prayer and worship setup between Christians and Muslims? Feel free to share your thoughts with us!

Source: BBC News

Image: Salam World

Study: Armadillos could be source of Leprosy

29 April 2011 Last updated at 08:16 GMT

The armadillo is often known as a desert dwelling creature with tough leathery armor and the ability to curl up into a ball when threatened by predators. Aside from that, there is little else that the public knows about the armadillo. However, recent research has shown startling data that they may be a potential source of the leprosy disease to genetically-susceptible humans.

A recent study had showed that a strain of leprosy found in humans in the southern U.S. was identical to a strain commonly found in a 9-banded armadillo found in the area. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and also suggest that various species of armadillo all around the world could also be a source of leprosy. Armadillos in the United States are commonly found in the southern states, specifically in dry open desserts in Texas and Arizona and Louisiana.

“Around the world, we think of human beings as the only reservoir of Mycobacterium Leprae and that leprosy is a human disease,” said Richard Truman of the National Hansen’s Disease Program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “While some people have suspected this link for a long time, no other kinds of environmental reservoirs are found elsewhere in the world, so it was easy for individuals to discount the idea,” he added. Truman was the lead on the study.

Leprosy is a rare and mysterious disease. Although it has been around for hundreds of years, it has been hard to catch since 90 to 95 percent of all population is immune to it. It would take repeated exposure to leprosy to catch the condition. Among the symptoms of leprosy include slow-growing skin lesions. The condition also affects the eyes, peripheral nerves and upper respiratory system of the body.

Leprosy is rarely diagnosed because of its rarity but it can be treated when caught early on by strong antibiotics. Leprosy experts have known for a long time that armadillos are capable of carrying the disease, and there have been studies that random cases of leprosy in the United States often occur in the southern states where armadillos are common.

Researchers in the study believe that the leprosy bacterium grows in armadillos, and not with any other animal, because armadillos have low body temperatures, around 32 degrees C or 89 degrees F. The findings discouraged people from repeated exposure from armadillos as well as discouraged cooking and eating their meat.