Over 580 persons had taken refuge at Fr Sanu’s church during the floods and the church did not have enough food to offer so many people. The mosque stepped in to help.

Floods broke the walls that separated us Catholic priest gives thanks in mosque
news Kerala Floods Monday, September 03, 2018 - 14:15

“The floods have taken away a lot from us, but what it took away first were the walls that we have built to seperate each other. It took away all the pride from our minds. It took away the perception that we only need ourselves,” said Fr Sanu Puthussery. He did not say this in a church or in a Christian prayer meeting, but in a mosque during the Friday sermon.

The people who gathered at the Juma Masjid at Vechoor in the Kottayam district of Kerala on August 31 for the Friday sermon were in for a surprise, when Imam Azhar Al Qassimi stopped the sermon in between, and a Christian priest walked in to deliver a speech. Father Sanu Puthussery, a priest of the Syro-Malabar church came to the mosque to offer his thanks to his Muslim brothers, for the help they offered in terms of providing food and water to the flood affected people who took refuge in the St Anthony’s Church, where Fr Sanu is the vicar.

It has been reported that over 580 persons had taken refuge at the church during the time of the floods and the church did not have enough food to offer so many people.

Fr Puthussery is reported to have told Press Trust of India (PTI) that, “I straightaway went to the Masjid, appraised the Maulavi about our difficulty and requested his help. After the day’s prayers, Muslim brothers came to the church with large quantities of food and water as per his direction.”

Niyas Naseer, one of the people who had come to the Juma Masjid to attend the sermon took to Facebook on Friday to share his thoughts about this incident.

“What happened in the mosque today fills us with a lot of happiness, pride and moreover, it gives us a hope for a better tomorrow,” Niyas said in his Facebook post. “This has to be one of the most wonderful Friday’s I have experienced in a long time,” he added.

Fr Puthussery in his speech said, “The floods taught us that we can love, care and offer condolences to each other without looking at religion, caste or financial status. Somewhere down the line, the floods helped us find the humanitarian values that we have been losing.”

Speaking about his visit to the Masjid to offer thanks, Fr Puthussery told PTI, “I went to the Masjid to meet the Maulavi and other authorities and thank them personally. But they invited me to their prayer hall and offered me their platform to speak.”

“It was a rare gesture of togetherness,” he added.

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