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Vacant Buffalo Catholic church converts into mosque

Posted at 6:47 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 18:50:27-05

St. Gerard's Roman Catholic Church is being sold to three people, who will convert it into a mosque.

Ammar Shaibi and two others purchased the century old building for $120-thousand dollars. It has been vacant on the corner of East Delavan and Bailey Avenue for at least seven years.

"We're getting support from everybody in the neighborhood and community. We are part of the community and we will continue to be part and welcome the community," Shaibi said.

The sale faced its fair share of legal challenges from some members of the local catholic community. They viewed the sale as financially flawed and insulting to generations of parishioners who funded the church. The state supreme court ultimately decided to allow the sale.

"We do worship the same God. Although, some people think that we don't and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has been very active in the Muslim community for almost 40 years," St. Gerard's Former Priest, Reverend Francis Mazur said.

The new owners are hope to have the mosque open and ready for worship by July.