BOSTON (AP) _ Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is planning to visit a Boston mosque.

Organizers say the visit Friday to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center _ the largest mosque in New England _ is the first by a sitting Republican Massachusetts governor.

Muslims are mandated to attend weekly prayers each Friday. The service typically begins with an invocation at 1:00 p.m., followed by a half-hour sermon and by a brief congregational prayer.

Organizers say Baker will sit among congregants for the sermon and observe the prayer, then speak briefly to the community.

Approximately 1,500 congregants come to the center for each weekly prayer service.

Yusufi Vali, the center's public affairs director, said he hopes the visit ``marks the beginning of a strong relationship'' between the governor and the state's Muslim community.

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