WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington National Cathedral is hosting a Muslim prayer service for the first time.
Planners say they hope Friday's service at the historic cathedral will foster more understanding and acceptance between Christians and Muslims around the world.
The prominent Episcopal cathedral often hosts national events, such as presidential funerals, and has hosted Muslims at various interfaith services in the past. But planners say this is the first time the cathedral has invited Muslims to lead their own prayers there, which they call a "powerful symbolic gesture."
Planners say the prayer service developed after the cathedral's liturgical director met South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool while planning the national memorial service for Nelson Mandela.
In a statement, Rasool says, "This is a dramatic moment in the world and in Muslim-Christian relations."