Neighbors who pray together, stay together: Tension and tolerance on Easter

Published April 16th, 2017 - 09:05 GMT

A string of attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians has left the region shaken. Daesh promised more attacks after targeting the community in the Sinai Peninsula, and last week, on Palm Sunday, bombs struck two Coptic churches, killing 45. Over the last several years, religious minorities of all stripes have been under attack in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Even quiet Jordan has heavy security presence stationed outside churches ahead of Easter. But lest these attackers succeed in spreading sectarianism and dividing communities, now seems like a good time to remember all the times Muslims and Christians come together to pray in solidarity.

View as a slider
View as a list
"The day metal detectors were installed at the entrances of churches... [something] I never expected or dreamed of happening in Jordan," wrote local journalist Michel Nassar on Facebook. "I do not want to believe it or even think about it. Why? Our home is inside the hearts of our Muslim brothers."

"The day metal detectors were installed at the entrances of churches... [something] I never expected or dreamed of happening in Jordan," wrote local journalist Michel Nassar on Facebook. "I do not want to believe it or even think about it. Why? Our home is inside the hearts of our Muslim brothers."

In a historic service, Muslims participate in a Friday prayer November 14, 2014 held at the National cathedral in Washington DC for the first time. The special prayer service was held in a show of interfaith solidarity for religious minorities under attack in the Middle East.

In a historic service, Muslims participate in a Friday prayer November 14, 2014 held at the National cathedral in Washington DC for the first time. The special prayer service was held in a show of interfaith solidarity for religious minorities under attack in the Middle East.

After a group of nuns and orphanage workers were kidnapped and held for a week, Syrian Christians and Muslims attended a prayer vigil for peace at the Lady of Dormition, the Melkite Greek Catholic patriarchal cathedral in the Old City of Damascus, on September 7, 2013.

After a group of nuns and orphanage workers were kidnapped and held for a week, Syrian Christians and Muslims attended a prayer vigil for peace at the Lady of Dormition, the Melkite Greek Catholic patriarchal cathedral in the Old City of Damascus, on September 7, 2013.

Palestinian Muslims and Christians marched in a candlelight vigil in Gaza in November 22, 2012. They gathered together in solidarity after the death of a Christian member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Palestinian Muslims and Christians marched in a candlelight vigil in Gaza in November 22, 2012. They gathered together in solidarity after the death of a Christian member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Christians and Muslims also came together in the Rouen Cathedral in France in 2016 to mourn murdered priest Jacques Hamel. Father Hamel was killed by a 19-year-old attacker acting in the name of Daesh.

Christians and Muslims also came together in the Rouen Cathedral in France in 2016 to mourn murdered priest Jacques Hamel. Father Hamel was killed by a 19-year-old attacker acting in the name of Daesh.

Iraqi Christians take part in Friday prayer in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad in July 2016, after a massive bombing killed nearly 300 people during Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan. The suicide attack targeted Shia worshippers, but killed Iraqis of all faiths and walks of life.

Iraqi Christians take part in Friday prayer in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad in July 2016, after a massive bombing killed nearly 300 people during Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan. The suicide attack targeted Shia worshippers, but killed Iraqis of all faiths and walks of life.

On Friday during the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Christian protesters in Tahrir Square joined hands to form a protective cordon around their Muslim countrymen so they could pray in safety. On Sunday, Muslims returned the favor. They surrounded Christians celebrating Mass in Tahrir Square, ground zero for the pro-democracy protests.

On Friday during the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Christian protesters in Tahrir Square joined hands to form a protective cordon around their Muslim countrymen so they could pray in safety. On Sunday, Muslims returned the favor. They surrounded Christians celebrating Mass in Tahrir Square, ground zero for the pro-democracy protests.

Greek priests and Muslim refugees offered a prayer together for the hundreds of refugees and migrants who perished in the Aegean Sea while trying to reach Europe for a better life. The prayer service took place on the island of Lesbos, the main landing point in 2015 for refugees braving the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece.

Greek priests and Muslim refugees offered a prayer together for the hundreds of refugees and migrants who perished in the Aegean Sea while trying to reach Europe for a better life. The prayer service took place on the island of Lesbos, the main landing point in 2015 for refugees braving the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece.

Muslims take part in a mass at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem on July 31, 2016 in Rome, Italy. The worshippers had also gathered to mourn the death of murdered French Priest Jacques Hamel.

Muslims take part in a mass at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem on July 31, 2016 in Rome, Italy. The worshippers had also gathered to mourn the death of murdered French Priest Jacques Hamel.

"The day metal detectors were installed at the entrances of churches... [something] I never expected or dreamed of happening in Jordan," wrote local journalist Michel Nassar on Facebook. "I do not want to believe it or even think about it. Why? Our home is inside the hearts of our Muslim brothers."
In a historic service, Muslims participate in a Friday prayer November 14, 2014 held at the National cathedral in Washington DC for the first time. The special prayer service was held in a show of interfaith solidarity for religious minorities under attack in the Middle East.
After a group of nuns and orphanage workers were kidnapped and held for a week, Syrian Christians and Muslims attended a prayer vigil for peace at the Lady of Dormition, the Melkite Greek Catholic patriarchal cathedral in the Old City of Damascus, on September 7, 2013.
Palestinian Muslims and Christians marched in a candlelight vigil in Gaza in November 22, 2012. They gathered together in solidarity after the death of a Christian member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Christians and Muslims also came together in the Rouen Cathedral in France in 2016 to mourn murdered priest Jacques Hamel. Father Hamel was killed by a 19-year-old attacker acting in the name of Daesh.
Iraqi Christians take part in Friday prayer in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad in July 2016, after a massive bombing killed nearly 300 people during Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan. The suicide attack targeted Shia worshippers, but killed Iraqis of all faiths and walks of life.
On Friday during the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Christian protesters in Tahrir Square joined hands to form a protective cordon around their Muslim countrymen so they could pray in safety. On Sunday, Muslims returned the favor. They surrounded Christians celebrating Mass in Tahrir Square, ground zero for the pro-democracy protests.
Greek priests and Muslim refugees offered a prayer together for the hundreds of refugees and migrants who perished in the Aegean Sea while trying to reach Europe for a better life. The prayer service took place on the island of Lesbos, the main landing point in 2015 for refugees braving the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece.
Muslims take part in a mass at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem on July 31, 2016 in Rome, Italy. The worshippers had also gathered to mourn the death of murdered French Priest Jacques Hamel.
"The day metal detectors were installed at the entrances of churches... [something] I never expected or dreamed of happening in Jordan," wrote local journalist Michel Nassar on Facebook. "I do not want to believe it or even think about it. Why? Our home is inside the hearts of our Muslim brothers."
"The day metal detectors were installed at the entrances of churches... [something] I never expected or dreamed of happening in Jordan," wrote local journalist Michel Nassar on Facebook. "I do not want to believe it or even think about it. Why? Our home is inside the hearts of our Muslim brothers."
In a historic service, Muslims participate in a Friday prayer November 14, 2014 held at the National cathedral in Washington DC for the first time. The special prayer service was held in a show of interfaith solidarity for religious minorities under attack in the Middle East.
In a historic service, Muslims participate in a Friday prayer November 14, 2014 held at the National cathedral in Washington DC for the first time. The special prayer service was held in a show of interfaith solidarity for religious minorities under attack in the Middle East.
After a group of nuns and orphanage workers were kidnapped and held for a week, Syrian Christians and Muslims attended a prayer vigil for peace at the Lady of Dormition, the Melkite Greek Catholic patriarchal cathedral in the Old City of Damascus, on September 7, 2013.
After a group of nuns and orphanage workers were kidnapped and held for a week, Syrian Christians and Muslims attended a prayer vigil for peace at the Lady of Dormition, the Melkite Greek Catholic patriarchal cathedral in the Old City of Damascus, on September 7, 2013.
Palestinian Muslims and Christians marched in a candlelight vigil in Gaza in November 22, 2012. They gathered together in solidarity after the death of a Christian member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Palestinian Muslims and Christians marched in a candlelight vigil in Gaza in November 22, 2012. They gathered together in solidarity after the death of a Christian member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Christians and Muslims also came together in the Rouen Cathedral in France in 2016 to mourn murdered priest Jacques Hamel. Father Hamel was killed by a 19-year-old attacker acting in the name of Daesh.
Christians and Muslims also came together in the Rouen Cathedral in France in 2016 to mourn murdered priest Jacques Hamel. Father Hamel was killed by a 19-year-old attacker acting in the name of Daesh.
Iraqi Christians take part in Friday prayer in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad in July 2016, after a massive bombing killed nearly 300 people during Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan. The suicide attack targeted Shia worshippers, but killed Iraqis of all faiths and walks of life.
Iraqi Christians take part in Friday prayer in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad in July 2016, after a massive bombing killed nearly 300 people during Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan. The suicide attack targeted Shia worshippers, but killed Iraqis of all faiths and walks of life.
On Friday during the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Christian protesters in Tahrir Square joined hands to form a protective cordon around their Muslim countrymen so they could pray in safety. On Sunday, Muslims returned the favor. They surrounded Christians celebrating Mass in Tahrir Square, ground zero for the pro-democracy protests.
On Friday during the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Christian protesters in Tahrir Square joined hands to form a protective cordon around their Muslim countrymen so they could pray in safety. On Sunday, Muslims returned the favor. They surrounded Christians celebrating Mass in Tahrir Square, ground zero for the pro-democracy protests.
Greek priests and Muslim refugees offered a prayer together for the hundreds of refugees and migrants who perished in the Aegean Sea while trying to reach Europe for a better life. The prayer service took place on the island of Lesbos, the main landing point in 2015 for refugees braving the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece.
Greek priests and Muslim refugees offered a prayer together for the hundreds of refugees and migrants who perished in the Aegean Sea while trying to reach Europe for a better life. The prayer service took place on the island of Lesbos, the main landing point in 2015 for refugees braving the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece.
Muslims take part in a mass at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem on July 31, 2016 in Rome, Italy. The worshippers had also gathered to mourn the death of murdered French Priest Jacques Hamel.
Muslims take part in a mass at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem on July 31, 2016 in Rome, Italy. The worshippers had also gathered to mourn the death of murdered French Priest Jacques Hamel.