Evangelist Lou Engle’s prayer gathering, scheduled for tomorrow in Detroit, is facing protests from religious leaders who claim the gathering will divide rather than unite.
“TheCall Detroit” is a 24-hour fast and prayer gathering that is expected to attract thousands of Americans from across the country.
However, religious leaders in the area are protesting the event on the grounds that TheCall promotes anti-Muslim, anti-homosexual, and anti-abortion beliefs.
"We do not agree with the spread of a message of hate, but a message of peace and a message of love," said Rev. Charles Williams II, pastor of Historic King Solomon Church in Detroit, at a gathering of religious leaders in the park.
"We love our Muslim brothers. We love those who are homosexual and we are not scared [...] to stand up when the time calls for us to,” he added.
TheCall says they chose Detroit for the event because the city represents a “microcosm of our national crisis” – citing economic, moral and social problems that currently plague the U.S.
Organizers also hope to curb "the rising tide of the Islamic movement."
Detroit religious leaders are concerned the event may spur attendees to vandalize local mosques or persecute the city’s nearly 200,000 Muslims.
"We certainly don't believe that the Muslim community is what cast a dark shadow over the city of Detroit in terms of economics," said Williams.
Williams said the group protesting TheCall consists of religious leaders of many faiths, and that no one faith is responsible for Detroit’s depressed state.
"Our prayer will be a prayer where we will be calling on God to help us solve the foreclosure crisis; to help us solve the job crisis; to help us solve the education crisis,” he said.
Williams stated, “This is the prayer we should be calling on, not a message of hate against those who are United States residents."
TheCall held its first event in 2000 in Washington, D.C. It aims to organize evangelical Christian youth and empower them to create a Christian nation.
The event is closely related to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response” rally held last August – many of the same speakers and talking points are shared between the two events. The Response fell under criticism that its message of creating a wholly Christian nation was too radical.
Engle previously took TheCall to Uganda where he supported a piece of legislation that encouraged the death penalty for open homosexuals in the country.
“TheCall Detroit” will take place in Ford Field, the stadium of the Detroit Lions football team.