Sunday, January 15, 2017

Interfaith service Quran reading sparks Scottish Catholic church upset

Scottish Christians have expressed upset after sections of the Quran were read out during a service marking the feast of the Epiphany at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, prompting the leader of the country’s Anglican church to voice his concern over the reaction.

The unrest in the Scottish church comes after a row broke out over the decision to include passages from the Quran read in Arabic by a local Muslim student during a service at the cathedral.

Nineteen-year-old student Madinah Javed the story of Jesus’ birth from the book of Maryam. The reading included the Islamic teaching that Jesus was not the son of God.

The intention of the service was to build interfaith relations, but instead sparked widespread anger throughout the Catholic community.

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church said the Scottish Episcopal Church had had a long commitment to the development of interfaith work.

In the statement he explained: “Over many years, we have sought to develop friendship, understanding and mutual respect between our Christian faith and the other great world religions.”

But he added: “The decisions which have led to the situation in St Mary’s Cathedral are a matter for the Provost and the Cathedral community but the Scottish Episcopal Church is deeply distressed at the widespread offence which has been caused. We also deeply regret the widespread abuse which has been received by the Cathedral community.”

Now Scottish police have been brought in after members of the church received online abuse, according to local press reports.

A police spokesman told the website Glasgowlive.co.uk: “We can confirm we are investigating reports of offensive comments made towards St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow and inquiries are ongoing.

“Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of hate and encourages all communities to work together to ensure no-one feels threatened or marginalized.”

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