Saturday, 14 April 2012

religious differences

photo: artemisphoto
Hello All. Today’s blog is an illustration of our modern multi-cultural-religious environment.

Recently a friend of mine was requested, in their working capacity, to organise a prayer room for overseas clients which were often visiting the organisation.  

Sounds easy doesn’t it?

My friend did some digging and got some advice on how exactly to set up a multi-faith prayer room. For example:

  • For one religion, a prayer room can be very plain. The room needs to be pretty empty with some prayer mats or pieces of carpet.
  • The room should contain facilities for washing hands and feet before prayers. 
  • The room must be large enough to accommodate multiple pray-ers side by side on the floor.
  • Some religions require provision for both male and females to pray separately. This could mean the room needs a divider of some sort, e.g. a curtain.
  • Some faiths require shoes to be removed, which must be respected by other users of the room even if from a different faith.
  • The room must have no religious symbolism such as a cross, pictures, statues or images.
  • Some religions require specific times to be available for prayer which would exclude users of other faiths from using the room.
  • Furniture used by some (e.g. pews and kneelers) gets in the way of others who require space to pray.
  • An indication of the direction of Mecca.
  • Must not contain anything considered impure such as blood, urine, poo, alcohol or dirt.
  • photo: phanlop88
  • Must be quiet.

How’s that for a list? I’m glad I’m not the one responsible for trying to set up a multi-faith prayer room! The task seems fraught with danger of offending someone.

Comments? Wax lyrical people!


  1. I don't believe its possible to set up such a room. What one religion would require in a room for prayer would easily offend others. It would come down to the tolerance of the people using it. A muslims tolerance to using a room with a cross in it, or a christians tolerance to come back later when its prayer time for a muslim.
    It would come down to a mutual respect of "you pray to your god your way and i will pray to my god my way"

  2. Hi Anonymous. Yes I can see why you don't think it's possible to set this up. It's something I think should go in the Too Hard Basket, that's for sure!