Friday, December 06, 2013

Illinois: Mosque takes over former Wheaton church

Like mass Muslim immigration, a growing trend. via Mosque takes over former Wheaton church – h/t TROP

A mosque recently moved into a former church building on the northeast side of Wheaton, becoming what is believed to be the city’s first Islamic institution.
In late August, the Islamic Center of Wheaton bought and moved into the 26,193-square-foot former First Assembly of God Church at 900 E. Geneva Road, at the southwest corner of Geneva Road and President Street. Records show that, through a bank trust, the Islamic Center of Wheaton paid $3.15 million for the church and its 7.08-acre property.
Mosque spokesman Abraham Antar said he and his fellow congregants are excited about their new home, which he said is Wheaton’s first Muslim community.

“Wheaton is a city of faith, and we’re very privileged to be able to establish an Islamic community for Wheaton and especially for the western suburbs,” he said. “There are a lot of Muslims in Wheaton and the surrounding towns. It’s unfortunate for the (First Assembly of God) church that they lost their opportunity to stay there.”
Antar also said Islamic Center of Wheaton leaders are looking forward to getting to know other religious institutions in the area.
“This is a beautiful location, and one of the great attractions is that it gives us an opportunity as an Islamic organization to really connect with other churches,” he said. “It really presents us with an opportunity to really bridge the relationship with all congregations within the area. We haven’t really started yet, but we would like to.”
Antar said about 700 to 800 men and women have been worshiping at the mosque each Friday.
If 700-800 can attend on Friday, when most people are working, how did they afford the $3.15 million to buy it? That’s nearly $4,000 per person.

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