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Episcopal cathedral hosts Muslim prayer gathering

REGION — Hundreds are expected to join hands in prayer this week at a San Diego church in response to last Friday’s shooting massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Residents of all faith are invited to gather at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in downtown San Diego to share a meal and stories of interfaith friendships.

Salaam, a local non-profit, is hosting the event along with the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

Salaam unites San Diego’s interfaith leaders to reject Islamophobia and stand against all forms of hate and violence.

“I think it would be a great opportunity for both members of Muslim and Christian communities to come together in solidarity,” said Steve Slocum, founder of Salaam. “I’m expecting the event to have some powerful moments across faith boundaries.”

Salaam is a non-religious, non-partisan organization and has held a number of events in the last year designed to bring people of Muslim and non-Muslim faith together.

“We haven’t done one like this, which is a vigil in response to the terrorist attacks in New Zealand,” Slocum said.

The prayer vigil will honor victims of the terror attack and send a message of peace and unity for all people of faith.

Slocum said that anyone planning to attend should RSVP here.


6 to 6:50 p.m. — Community dinner and conversation. Non-Muslim attendees to learn the meaning of Islamic daily prayers.

6:50 to 7:05 p.m. — People of faith will kneel on prayer rugs for Maghrib prayer (the fourth of five obligatory daily prayers in Islam, occurring just after sunset).

7:05 to 7:55 p.m. — Attendees will share stories of interfaith friendships that have transformed their lives .

7:55 to 8 p.m. — Participants will stand in a circle, holding hands for a prayer of unity.