December 14, 2012
Muslims Flock to California Church—For a Convention
Decision revives debate: Should churches lend worship space to other religions?
This weekend, All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, will host the convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), marking the first time the national Muslim group has held an event in a Christian facility.
The decision is endorsed by both All Saints and MPAC leaders—as well as by a recent Los Angeles Times editorial—but overall response has been less than friendly. According to RNS, "dozens of emails" have accused the church of "condoning terrorism."
In a sermon earlier this month, All Saints senior pastor Edwin J. Bacon Jr. called the messages "some of the most vile, mean-spirited email" he has ever read, prompting the church to hold a press conference last week to defend its decision to host the conference.
Salam al-Marayati, MPAC president, says the plan to hold the convention at All Saints is a glimpse of "what a future of peace could look like.” ”Holding our convention at a church and inviting a multi-faith audience should be a source of hope and encouragement to the world," he said.
CT has previously examined whether churches should lend worship space to other religions.