Muslim farmers are helping their Catholic neighbors rebuild a mud chapel that was destroyed by a monsoon in the village of Khalsabad, Pakistan earlier this year. The eight Christian families who live in the village had the option of praying at home or rebuilding the chapel; they chose the latter and asked the community for help.
Muslim farmers and businessmen have donated to fundraising efforts led by a village committee responsible for the project.
Dilawar Hussain, a Muslim shopkeeper, donated 10,000 rupees (95 dollars) after learning about the project. “A church is also a house of Allah; praying is what matters. We worship the same God,” Hussain said.
Construction on the chapel has begun and so far the boundary walls have been erected.
Fr. Aftab James Paul called the support from Muslim neighbors a “dialogue for life.”
Though Pakistan has made headlines for violence against Christians, this is not the first time that Muslims in the area have helped rebuild a Catholic place of worship. In 2005, Muslims helped with the construction of a church in Gojra Tehnsil.
Fr. Paul encourages the community to remember the support from their Muslim neighbors. “We have too many prejudices,” he said, “and let the actions of a few be blamed on all followers of Islam.”