UCC, Disciples leaders call for end to anti-Muslim actions
Leaders of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) issued a joint statement today condemning the March 20 burning of a Quran in Florida and calling for religious tolerance.
“We condemn Quran burning as a desecration to the religion of Islam and offensive to all people of faith,” the statement says. “It is not only an insult to the sacred scriptures of Muslims in America and around the world, but it demeans the values we hold as Americans and the love toward others we profess as Christians.”
Signed by the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, UCC general minister and president, and the Rev. Sharon E. Watkins, Disciples general minister and president, along with justice, international mission and interfaith leaders from both denominations, the statement also calls the recently held U.S. House hearings on the radicalization of Islam “problematic and ill-conceived.”
In response to the hearings, a coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders issued a call to stand “Shoulder to Shoulder” in opposition to anti-Muslim bigotry. “This country’s spiritual, religious and ethnic diversity serves to enrich our public discourse. When our public discourse is enriched, extremism is seldom given quarter,” the March 10 letter said.
“As faith leaders who seek peace and reconciliation, we oppose acts that offend and do violence to others in the name of our religious traditions,” today’s statement concludes. “We must ensure that an irresponsible few do not twist [Christianity] for the sake of hate and division.”