Members of the Spiritual Life Center of Sacramento have their Easter morning services for their Christian church, at the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM) auditorium next to their mosque in Sacramento, Calif., April 08, 2012.
SACRAMENTO – A Sacramento congregation was facing an Easter without a home this year until the most unlikely of locations opened their doors and welcomed them inside.
The Spiritual Life Center of Sacramento lost the lease to their church a month prior to their biggest service of the year, but Reverend Michael Moran said a dream offered hope in the face of despair.
“We were desperately looking for a place to hold our Easter services. I had a dream and in the dream I saw a newspaper headline that read, ‘Easter at the Mosque’,” reveals Moran. “But when I awoke, I said that will never happen.”
But in an act of compassion and generosity, the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM) turned Moran’s dream into reality.
Ifran Itaq of SALAM said the decision to allow Moran’s congregation to celebrate their faith at the mosque was simple.
“For us, mosques, churches, synagogues are places where God’s name is mentioned and they are holy places, and this is the sharing of those faiths in one of those institutions.”
Beyond the surface-level expression of hospitality and good will, Moran believes the interfaith congregation on Easter Sunday holds much greater significance.
“Our mission from the very beginning was to bring the different faith traditions together in cooperative efforts,” Moran explains. “I love what the Dalai Lama said, he said, “Until there’s peace among the world’s religions, there will never be peace on earth. I think this is one of those steps towards peace.”
At great personal risk, John Oliver witnesses Muslims praying in a church’s all-purpose room.