Dozens of Christian churches, from Park Hill Congregational in Denver to Hillview United Methodist in Boise, Idaho, and First United Lutheran in San Francisco to St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church in Honolulu, are planning to send "a message both here at home and to the Arab and Muslim world about our respect for Islam" with a time to read the Quran during worship this Sunday.
It's not just wrong, but dangerous, according to Christian trends analysts.
The aim of the program, which is promoted by social activists behind the Faith Shared website, is to counter the message from Islamic activists who say opposition to their religion is the product of what they call a cottage industry of hate.
So the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First is calling on Christian clergy to read portions of the Quran during their services Sunday. The readings, supporters say, will "counter the anti-Muslim bigotry and negative stereotypes that have erupted throughout the country in the past year and led to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases, violence."
Not so fast, says apprising.org religious trends analyst Ken Silva. "I would think they need to have their spiritual heads examined. It's foolish to think that we're going to read something that originates with demons and read that in a Christian church," Silva said. The action amounts to "spiritual treason," he asserted.
But Silva said, "Second Corinthians 6:14-18 (the verse warning against partnering light with darkness) says we're forbidden to do that kind of thing. It's one thing to be friendly with someone in Islam, but it's a whole other thing in a Christian community to be reading something that is antithetical to Christianity and is hostile to Jesus Christ himself."