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.
- 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!