Ahmadiyya Muslims to open new mosque

The Supreme Head of the international Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, which has an active branch in Baltimore, will preside Oct.14 at ceremonies formally opening a new Maryland mosque in Silver Spring.

The religious leader, who will also take part there in the 46th annual convention of Ahmadiyya Muslims in the United States, is Hazrat Nirza Tahir Ahmad.


The two days of events, concluding with a dinner on Oct. 15, is expected to draw many of the faith's adherents from the Baltimore area to the large, white, domed structure recently completed at 15000 Good Hope Road. The dedication program begins at 4 p.m. Friday.

Mubasher Ahmad, a native of Pakistan who is director of the Ahmadiyya center at 4406 Garrison Blvd. in Northwest Baltimore, said the minority Muslim sect -- founded in 1889 -- has 10 million members worldwide. Many of the approximately 8,000 Pakistan natives living in the Baltimore area are Ahmadis, he said.


He called them "focused and studious people who have prospered in their undertakings and, as a consequence, incurred the wrath of Islamic extremists." Ahmadis teach that Jesus "was a holy prophet who survived the cross and preached in India after his resurrection."

They also teach that "there can be no compulsion in matters of faith" and reject violence in any form and for any reason.

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Year of the Family:

H. Richard McCord and his wife, Denise, Roman Catholic lay leaders who live in the Northwood section of Baltimore, will be the official representatives of the U.S. Catholic bishops at a convocation of laity tomorrow and Sunday at the Vatican.

The two days of discussion, prayer and song, to include a meeting with Pope John Paul II and a Mass where couples will renew their marriage vows, are expected to attract 150,000 Catholics from around the world. The purpose is to celebrate 1994 as the church's Year of the Family.

Mr. and Mrs. McCord also planned to attend a conference that began yesterday, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family, at the Lateran University in Rome. They have a 16-year-old son, Andrew.

Mr. McCord, who is on the staff of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, serves on the church's Committee on Marriage and Family.


Anniversary service:

St. John's Chapel at 7538 Bellona Ave. in Ruxton, built between 1833 and 1835 and considered the oldest African-American house of worship still standing in Baltimore County, will mark its 161st anniversary at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Members of the Scott family, whose ancestor, James Aquilla Scott, built the Methodist chapel as a center for religious, social and educational activities of black slaves and free men, will lead the celebration.

The chapel fell into disuse in the 1960s but has been restored through the efforts of the Friends of St. John's, founded by Gail B. O'Donovan nearly 15 years ago. The Chesapeake Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which manages the property, is restoring the interior of the chapel's parsonage.

& Information: 466-2029.

Episcopal adviser:


Bishop Harold A. Hopkins Jr., executive director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Pastoral Development, will address the Churchman's Club at a dinner meeting Wednesday at the Belvedere Hotel.

Bishop Hopkins is a consultant to the search committee charged with screening candidates to succeed the retired head of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, Bishop A. Theodore Eastman.

The meeting, open to both men and women, will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. Dinner is at 7 p.m. For more information about the club and to make reservations, call its president, Jonathan Pine, at 528-4280 or 435-8937.

Jewish studies:

"Christians, Jews and Scripture" is the title of a free, public lecture by Jon D. Levenson, the Albert A. List professor of Jewish Studies at the Harvard Divinity School, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Knott Hall on the North Baltimore campus of Loyola College.

Beverly Garenta, a Princeton Theological Seminary professor, will respond to Mr. Levenson's remarks.


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