ROME: Muslims in Italy will celebrate their second Eid Al-Fitr amid the coronavirus pandemic with smaller-than-usual gatherings nationwide.
Muslim community leaders in the country have called for strict adherence to measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Like last year, the traditional gathering in Parco Dora park in Turin will not take place. Instead, nine meeting points for prayer have been designated throughout the city.
Double shifts for prayer have been set in order to avoid there being too many people at the same time.
The Taiba and Rayan mosques are restricting capacity, and all worshippers are required to bring their own carpet and wear masks. Omar Mosque has asked the faithful to gather in Valentino Park.
Squares and outdoor sports centers and soccer fields will also be used for the prayer that marks the end of Ramadan.
The Great Mosque of Rome has quite a large outdoor space, so prayers will be held there. Outdoor ceremonies will be organized in several squares in Italy’s capital.
The Islamic Center of Via Monzani in Marghera, Venice, will not hold the traditional venue in San Giuliano Park, where thousands used to gather every year. Instead, small gatherings will be organized in some squares.
“It’s still better than last year. This year, at least we’re able to meet in groups and pray,” Imam Sadmir Aliovski, who coordinated food aid for the unemployed and needy in Venice during Ramadan, told Arab News.
A public ceremony is scheduled in the city of Montebelluna where Muslims will meet at 7 a.m. in Caonada gym with Imam Mourchid Sallahdine.
The Islamic Cultural Center of Villorba has scheduled collective prayer at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of the Palaverde indoor sports arena.
Catholic archbishops have sent wishes for Eid Al-Fitr to Muslim communities. “We hope that despite the difficulties, dialogue, encounters and mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims can find adequate momentum,” said Turin’s Archbishop Monsignor Cesare Nosiglia.
He expressed his wish that Muslim places of worship will soon be able to welcome their faithful again.
Milan’s Archbishop Mario Delpini said: “We continue to work together in building peaceful, fraternal and harmonious relationships, and in this difficult time may we all find spiritual energy to be able to embark on a new path of rebirth.”
He added: “In this exceptional time marked by the pandemic and the economic crisis, religions must help find the common good and put it into practice with work and prayer, so that we can all build a culture of peace built on patience and understanding.”