The mosque in the viktoriastrabe is full. Visitors fill the entire back prayer room. As is customary here, they have all taken off their school clothes when they enter the mosque, and are now sitting on the floor in socks, looking forward eagerly. The prayer call ertont. It is in arabic and probably not understandable for most visitors. Nevertheless, the audience listens attentively.
Ten muslim men stand in a row in front of the prayer niche and begin the evening prayer. They drop to their knees, kiss the floor in front of them, straighten up again and repeat the process. Arabic prayers run in the background.
"It really moved me, says marianne vogt from coburg. "Seeing them throw themselves to their god and surrender to him was impressive." The mosque is the first stop of the evening for marianna vogt and her husband gerd. "We find the evening very interesting, especially because we ourselves travel a lot to asian and muslim countries", she explains.
In the mosque, the next item on the agenda is the dervish dance. A dance group from kulmbach, consisting of four boys, enters the room and poses. You wear long, weibe wandered. The music starts, the young people raise their right arm bent upwards and start to turn around themselves. They only stop when the music stops after about three minutes. "The dance means a complete devotion to allah", ilhan birinci, second chairman of the turkish-islamic community of coburg, explains.
"One switches off. Body and spirit are completely given to god." It is a special form of prayer that is not often practiced, but was performed specifically for tonight’s event. "The dancers circle around god, they meditate", female karl heinz lipper, retired evangelical pastor. He is enthusiastic about the evening. "The night of religions is a great idea to get people interested in other religions." "It is fascinating that you get the ‘feeling’ while praying", coburg resident marie ruettinger says. "Even though I didn’t understand much, because some of it was in arabic, you can feel your way in from the outside."
Ten religious communities present themselves in 18 different houses of worship at the night of religions. Also in the cohray crypt of the st. Visitors to the augustin church this evening can take a look around and be guided through the rooms by hans peter. "About 60 people have already been here, wondering who is actually buried here and interested in the relatives of the deceased.
Visitors get an insight into buddhism at the awo multigenerational house. Here, too, all seats are taken. Besides the lay buddhism of peggy hoffman, khenpo toudu tharchin, a buddhist monk from nepal, with the help of his translator cornelia rossberg from coburg, introduces the audience to the first steps of meditation. "Through meditation one becomes peaceful and happy in spirit", cornelia rossberg translates the monch. She herself is also a buddhist and can say from her own experience that a few minutes of meditation in everyday life provide relaxation and prevent fits of rage.
Tharchin gives instructions on how to sit and breathe properly while meditating, and asks the audience to do a short exercise. For two and a half minutes the room becomes completely silent, all visitors concentrate on an object in front of them or on their breathing.
I wonder if there is anyone who is now converting to buddhism? "You don’t change your religion because of a five-minute insight", the evangelic religion teacher jasmin muller-alefeld finds. However, it is very important to be open to other religions.
The moritz church provides a particularly beautiful sight during the "night of lights". The entire church room is darkened and empty, only the niche in front of the high altar is lit, where visitors sit with candles and sing songs together. The view conveys a peaceful atmosphere, which underlines the purpose of the evening: to show more tolerance and respect for each other. "No matter where people come from, now they live in coburg and help shape coburg", says jasmin muller-alefeld. The magic word is encounter." The night of the religions is a good thing, which demands mutual acceptance and will be continued.