A new mosque for a small community of Ahmadiyya Muslims in the area was officially opened to worshippers Saturday in Coon Rapids.
It's the first mosque in Minnesota to serve the Ahmadiyya, which is a movement within the Muslim faith.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minneapolis, who is Muslim, delivered the keynote speech at the celebration for the Nusrat Mosque, which is the place of worship for about 60 members of the Minnesota Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Community, according to ECM Newspapers
Ellison said it's "a great thing" the Ahmadiyya now have a place of their own in Minnesota.
"It just goes to show that Minnesota is a wonderfully diverse community," Ellison said, according to WCCO. "People from all over the world live here and make it a better place."
The mosque is located in an old bank building in Coon Rapids. It actually opened about 18 months ago, ECM reports, but it was officially inaugurated Saturday.
"We believe this mosque, which is open to all people, will foster a spirit of community with neighbors and establish interreligious harmony and peace," said Nasim Rehmatullah, national vice president for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, according to ECM.
A spokesman for the chapter, Kamal Ahmed, said the group was started in Minnesota about 20 years ago and has been worshipping in rented spaces around the Twin Cities as it searched for a property to purchase, according to ECM.
Members of the chapter come from throughout Minnesota to worship, including Rochester, Duluth, Mankato and Fargo, Ahmed said.