The Pope prayed at a mosque last weekend – Is this the cool, progressive thing to do?

by Adedayo Ademuwagun

Picture the Pope praying in a mosque alongside top Muslim leaders. That’s what happened in Turkey last weekend.

Pope Francis was at the Blue Mosque in Instabul on Saturday as part of his three-day visit to the predominantly Muslim country. He also celebrated Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in the city.

The visit to the mosque is significant as the Pope tries to promote peace and unity between Muslims and Christians. He’s the second Pope to worship at the Blue Mosque. The first was his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who was there in 2006 for a similar purpose.

The world has made remarkable progress in bringing Muslims and Christians together, partly through efforts by world leaders such as Pope Francis. However, there’s still a fence between Christians and Muslims today.

A lot of believers today minimise their contact and association with people of the other faith. This manifests in everyday life, like the Christian who immediately changes the channel when a Muslim preacher shows on the TV, or a Muslim who will not date a Christian. It’s like the world is still far away from the point where people can cross the fence freely without bias or condemnation.

So the Pope’s worship at the mosque is considered nice from a diplomatic perspective. But is this the cool, progressive thing for the rest of us ordinary Christians and Muslims to do? Is this the way to go? To what extent should we be willing to cross the fence and bond with people of the other faith?

Taofeek says, “I read about the Pope’s visit in the news. I think it’s timely because of all the terrorist stuff happening right now – the Isis, the Al Qaeda and all that. He’s trying to connect with the Muslim world. It’s a good one from that angle. But personally I think they shouldn’t have allowed a person who doesn’t believe in our faith to worship in the mosque. I think it’s not right. The Pope is not Muslim and obviously doesn’t believe in Islam. He shouldn’t be let to pray in the mosque with Muslims.”

The feeling is mutual.

Samuel says, “It’s nice to see the Pope take such a step for the sake of peace. But I personally don’t see myself worshipping in a mosque. It’s inappropriate. As Christians, we can make friends with the Muslims and work and play with them. But that’s probably the limit. Marrying a Muslim is unacceptable to me, for example, because we don’t share the same faith.”

There are some moderate Christians and Muslims who have liberal views though.

Maruf says, for instance, “I mix freely, and I don’t discriminate between Christians and Muslims. I have cousins who’re Christians and sometimes I attend a church event at their invitation. I also watch Pastor Sam Adeyemi and read Christian writers. My point is, I try to keep an open mind regarding these things.”

Amaka also says, “I think religious leaders contribute to this thing, because they’re the ones who make the fence bigger through their teaching. I’ve been in churches where the pastor said negative things about Islam just to make his own faith look good. I’ve also heard in my neighbourhood, where the Muslims have an outdoor lecture and the preacher calls out Christians inappropriately. These things simply pit both sides against each other and further polarise the world.”

So then, how is the Pope’s action particularly relevant to Nigeria?

Amaka says, “The Pope’s move is particularly relevant to our nation if you look at the ethnic and religious problems that’s going on. We need to show love to each other and interact more freely with each other, treating each other as one regardless of faith or ethnicity. We need to unite, so that way our nation can move forward.”

Comments (24)

  1. yes, lets there be coorperation

  2. This is a very good example for GEJ. If pope can pray in d mosque why will my president say if he does that we are implication him. He said this some time. Pls a president of a country is president of all be christian muslim pagan etc. This is another area GEJ miss it all. Nigeria is no longer under dictatorship of military. No president can force anybody to be christian or muslim the national assembly where all nigerian are represented is there to fight it out. Even the world will come inn. Nigerians don’t u know if it is easy for military to take over Gej deserve it but only when this gets worst forcefully military can take over. We thank God for that as a result nothing wrong for muslim muslim ticket or christian christian ticket. Any party presenting them should make both d president and vice singed agreement with d party that the will not go into religion during their time and such party should publish such agreement legally in all daily news paper for all nigeria to have copy then muslim muslim or christian christian ok. This is what I want A pc to do if buhari or atiku or kwonkwoso comes inn. The best vice president for all of them is Fasola lagos governor. They should also go to churches in northern state to worship with them and make them realise agreement had with their party remain. No religion rulling. Do same in south east. South west do not believe in religion. Tinubu wife is christian fasola wife christian. So many muslim marry christian. Any agreement must be open to all nigeria. This is where obj made mistake with Gej causing nigeria war now. Notherners are against Gej contesting cos of yaradua time used. Politician don’t hide anything that will affect entire country. This Gej is a typical bad example more than 3million souls has pass away. I don’t know how God will forgive all u politician whom souls of people have lost. This is bad. Pope has given good example which Gej should have given. I know God will disgrace those needs to be disgraced cos of money. No peace

  3. if he enter d mosque wit d intention of seeing our secret then defnately he wil not see any secret bcos noting is hiden in islam, he may only find him self converting to islam just like pope benedic.

  4. There is a way dt seems right unto a man but d end there of is destruction, be watchful

  5. Follow @Pontifex
    His messages are beautiful.

  6. Amaka says, “The Pope’s move is particularly relevant to our nation if you look at the ethnic and religious problems that’s going on.

  7. thats love.

  8. serious something

  9. this should melt anybodys heart

  10. they both look Good

  11. okay. God bless you pope

  12. a true example of christ

  13. na politics jareee

  14. he is avery good leader. a competent one

  15. lets just pray the muslims wont pick offence in this

  16. yea. he is atrue man of God

  17. good man

  18. this pope is just too sweet

  19. One of the signs of the last days is a one world religion which would be led by the pope

    Take heed and beware. Repent for the end is near

  20. 2me, der is notn bad. if it ws wrng, by now God shld hv punish d pop 4 worshipn at d mosque. We ar nt meant 2 judge, God is d ultimate judge. I bliv is time 2 say no 2 all our false preachers n embrace peace n 1ness. We ar all human and created by one God. I love u all bt Christians n muslims. 07033561720

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