Church to debate reaching Muslims

Leaders of the Church of England will debate whether enough is being done to preach the Gospel to Muslims.

Discussions will take place at the next meeting of the Church of England’s governing body, the General Synod, in February next year.

The purpose of the debate is to find out how many members share the belief that all Christians are tasked to take the message of the Gospel to non-believers, including Muslims.

A vote is expected at the end of the meeting to decide whether bishops should report to the body on “their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in multi-faith Britain”, and give examples of how the Gospel can be shared.

A lay member of the Synod, Paul Eddy, was responsible for starting the Private Members’ Motion and was outraged when it was removed from the Synod’s July agenda.

He accused the church of censorship because it feared exposing the deep divisions in the church over beliefs about preaching to people of other religions.

Mr Eddy is pleased with the news that the debate has now been rescheduled.

He said: “I’m looking forward to what I think will be a very positive debate. I’m hoping that the Church will affirm the historic tenets of our faith.

“We have a huge responsibility to share our faith with everyone in the UK including those of other faiths”, he added.

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd Michael Nazir-Ali, is likely to be one of the speakers at this event.

In May the Bishop caused a stir because of his strong remarks about radical Islam which he made in an article for political magazine, Standpoint.

In the article he warned that radical Islam could fill the “spiritual vacuum” created by the ’60s liberal culture which undermined the family.

The Rt Revd Nazir-Ali said: “It is this situation that has created the moral and spiritual vacuum in which we now find ourselves. While the Christian consensus was dissolved, nothing else, except perhaps endless self-indulgence, was put in its place.”

While Marxism has since been discredited, “We are now confronted by another equally serious ideology, that of radical Islamism, which also claims to be comprehensive in scope,” he added.

The Bishop claimed that modern politically-correct values of multi-culturalism, tolerance and diversity will be useless to resist the rise of radical Islam.

He warned that church leaders had “gone too far” in their sensitivity towards Muslims and were not doing enough to promote the Christian religion.

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