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LDS Stake Takes in Muslim Worshipers After Mosque Destroyed by Arson

Just after 2:30 a.m. on January 14, flames destroyed a mosque in Bellevue, Washington, valued at $1.2 million, according to the Seattle Times.

A 37-year-old homeless man with a history of property damage and mental illness was charged with arson and the destruction of the mosque, but police say there is no reason to suspect the damage was a result of a hate crime.

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Though many holy books were salvaged from the fire, the Muslims who worshiped in the mosque were left without a place to pray.

Shortly after the fire, the Bellevue Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints converted a large classroom into a place where the Muslim community could come to pray and worship.

“It’s really very simple,” Church Director of Public Affairs Gordon Wilson told KOMO News. “It’s just neighbors helping neighbors. Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbor.’ They’re right next door. How can it be more obvious than that?”

But the LDS Church wasn't the only one to offer support to the Muslim community after this tragedy. Just a few days following the fire, people left an array of balloons, flowers, messages, and gifts outside the damaged mosque.

Some of the messages read, “We stand UNITED with our Muslim neighbors" and “We’re better together," according to the Seattle Times.

Lead image from the Seattle Times
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