Christian Church Taken Over by Muslim Group, Converted into Islamic Mosque
Locals call move a 'step in the right direction' for the community
A suburban Christian church has been converted into an Islamic mosque after being taken over by a Muslim group, according to reports.
The Metro Church on Ridgeway Ave in Australia's Gold Coast had been a place of worship for Christians until a recent acquisition.
The property was recently sold for AUD $3.4million (USD $2.38m) in April this year, however.
The building and land were bought by the Gold Coast Islamic Society who has since converted it into a place of worship for Muslims.
Many locals have welcomed the change, however, calling it a "step in the right direction" for the community.
Gold Coast Islamic Society president Hussin Goss told the Gold Coast Bulletin the group moved in earlier this month.
He said it would be a far smaller scale than the Arundel mosque.
"It will be a small backyard-type thing," he said.
Unlike previously proposed places of worship, this project will not be required to go before the Gold Coast City Council’s planning committee for approval because there are no changes to the use of the property or its fit-out.
Due to these council planning restrictions, it's far simpler to convert an existing church into a mosque rather than attempt to set up a new place of worship.
The Metro Church has since relocated to Robina, where it has secured a larger site.
According to the Daily Mail, the move comes five years after a controversy was sparked when plans for a mosque at the Currumbin Waters industrial estate were lodged.
Objections related to "social upheaval" created by having a mosque next to a school and increased noise.
There were also objections related to objections to the Islamic faith.
It also sparked a fiery rally at Evandale before plans were approved by the council in September 2014.
However, it was overturned a week later.