Vicar Offered to Cover up Jesus for Sex-Segregated Ramadan Event in English Church

church
William Holman Hunt/Public Domain
VIRGINIA HALE

Christians have slammed a vicar for being “ashamed of the gospel” after she offered to “cover” a crucifix and a painting of Jesus in order to host Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan in an English church.

The Reverend Lissa Scott also agreed to set up sex-segregated spaces for guests to engage in Islamic prayer in St Matthew and St Luke’s church in Darlington, where the Iftar meal is set to take place on June 2nd, reports the Sunday Times.

At a planning meeting in May, attended by the Rev Lissa Scott and pro-”diversity” councillor and former mayor, Gerald Lee, representatives from the Yorkshire town’s Muslim community were told that the church would cover crosses and a famous devotional image of Jesus Christ by William Holman Hunt for the event.

The Sunday Times reported minutes from the meeting read: “One aisle in church to be cleared of chairs for Muslim men to say prayers. Cover Christian crosses/photographs in small rooms for ladies to say prayers.”

After hearing of St Matthew and St Luke’s plans to hold Islamic worship in the church, however, the diocese of Durham intervened, noting that “an act of worship from a non-Christian faith tradition is not permitted within a consecrated [CoE] building”.

Cllr Lee sent an email to members of the pro-“diversity” Celebrating Communities group he heads the next day with news of the decision and the suggestion that Muslim guests could “revert to using the two rooms that we inspected — one for the males and one for the ladies”, reported ‘Rebel Priest’ blogger Jules Gomes.

“Gathering with Muslims in a Christian Church is an important step in bringing communities together so we do hope that you can see the importance of this event for everyone and compromise a little by using what our church has to offer,” added Lee, a representative for Britain’s Conservative Party.

With the parish website currently advertising new-age-style events such as the Buddhism-based ‘Meditation, Mindfulness, Relation’, local Christians reportedly described St Matthew and St Luke’s vicar Scott as a “liberal” who uses “gimmicks like Café Church to offer a gospel-less diet of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism,” the Rev Dr Gomes said.

Gavin Ashenden, a bishop of the Episcopal Church and a former chaplain to the Queen who stepped down after he objected to the delivery of an Islamic prayer denying the divinity of Jesus Christ during a Scottish cathedral service, slammed the plans.

“When Muslims come into our church, we invite them to come in and respect Jesus. If we accepted an invitation to go into a mosque, we would respect Muhammad,” he said.

“We do not expect them to disrespect Jesus by covering him up and no vicar should either.”

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