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Published June 29, 2012, 09:10 PM

Local Muslims Welcome New, Permanent Worship Space

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The local Muslim community will have their very own building in Grand Forks, the first of its kind in the area.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The local Muslim community will have their very own building in Grand Forks, the first of its kind in the area.

The United Church of Christ is selling its building, but will continue to share the space with the Islamic Center.

Local muslims who have already been renting church space for the past year are now buying the building and will hold daily worship.

The Protestant Christian church is being sold because UCC Council Chairman Don Medal said they could no longer afford the building and they wanted to stay together as a congregation.

For years, local muslims have met at UND's Memorial Union and Lotus Meditation Center. Now they will have a permanent place to meet.

The Islamic Center has grown over the years from nearly one dozen people to more than 150 members and the muslim community has grown to more than 300 people in the Grand Forks area.

"We are part of the community, we are active in the UND community especially on multi-faith issues," Islamic Center spokesperson Nabil Suleiman said.

"For me, I think that's a marvelous thing, not just about having a place but having a place where we can share with other people and being very open about it and very welcoming," UND student Mosab Bajaber said.

For the time being the church will rent from the Islamic Center for Sunday worship. The Islamic Center officially takes over approximately July 6th.

They will start using it for daily worship sooner than that.

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