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Churches welcome Muslim gathering in Bangladesh

World’s second biggest Muslim congregation after the Hajj begins

Churches welcome Muslim gathering in Bangladesh
Muslims at prayer in Bangladesh
Sumon Corraya, Gazipur
Bangladesh

January 21, 2011

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Church leaders including a Catholic bishop and priest welcomed the start of the world’s second biggest Muslim congregation that began in Bangladesh today. The 47th annual Bishwa Ijtema or World Congregation being held near Dhaka is the second largest congregation of Muslims after the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Millions of devotees from about 50 countries of the world are set to attend the prayer meeting, where discussion of politics is banned. In 2010 there were an estimated 5 million worshippers. “Muslims are our brothers and sisters and I pray they can have spiritual nourishment from this huge religious gathering,” said Bishop Bejoy D’Cruze of Khulna. Bishop D’Cruze, chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity and Inter-religious Dialogue, added: “Ours is a country of inter-faith harmony and every religious festival inspires us. We are in solidarity with their festival and pray for the success of the program.” BA12961.1637
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