Christians, Jews and Muslims to Share Pulpits

Churches across the States will be opening up their pulpits to clergy from the Jewish and Muslim faiths.

A few synagogues and mosques have also signed up to the Faith Shared project being hosted by the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First on June 26.

For one day only, clergy will take to the different pulpits to read from their own scriptures.

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Father Pat Earl, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Charlotte, North Carolina, told the Catholic News Service it was a “good thing for the church” to publicly recognize the existence of Islam.

He said he had been inspired to sign up to the initiative after hearing reports from Charlotte-based interfaith group Mecklenburg Ministries that local Muslims were suffering with the fear of Islamophobia.

The Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, encouraged churches to get involved in order to make a statement about pluralism and religious freedom.

He said: “We’re calling upon congregations to say by means of their actions, ‘We come from different traditions, hold different beliefs and engage in different rituals in our churches, mosques and synagogues, have different beliefs yet emphasize religious freedom and search for answers to life’s questions through our respective faiths.’”

He said the event would also help to counter the perception abroad that Americans are hostile to Islam.

“It will send a message that Americans respect Muslims and Islam, as they respect religious differences and freedom of religion in general,” he said.

Anti-American sentiment skyrocketed in some Muslim-majority countries after a Quran was burned at the church of Florida pastor Terry Jones.

In the days and weeks following the stunt, American flags were burned by angry Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan who chanted “death to the U.S.A.” and “death to Obama”.

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