German Muslims deny shopping for former churches

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Cologne – Germany’s main Muslim groups denied Monday they were shopping for some of the many empty Christian churches in the country to cope with demand for prayer space. Hundreds of roomy churches in Germany are disused and sealed up, while thousands only attract a handful of people to Sunday services, but many Christians are hostile to selling them.

Bekir Alboga, spokesman for the coordination council representing four main Islamic bodies, said “the main Christian churches refuse on principle to sell any more churches to Muslims.” That meant there was no point in asking for them. He said only about half a dozen existing German mosques had previously been in use as churches. Ayyub Axel Koehler, the German-born chairman of one mosque group, the Council of Muslims in Germany, agreed there was no trend to buy former churches.”Personally speaking, I would always oppose that. I believe it could upset people’s religious feelings and we wouldn’t want to do that,” said Koehler in Cologne.


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