The General Synod of the United Church of Christ is expected to pass a resolution early this week that offers support for Muslims facing growing hatred and intolerance. This is exactly the type of statement Christians should by making at this moment of history.
United Church News reports:
Working in a consensus model, Committee 12 recommended that General Synod 28 adopt the resolution “On Actions of Hostility Against Islam and the Muslim Community” submitted by Wider Church Ministries.
Committee members universally supported the direction of the resolution and its call to the church to declare its “clear support for neighbors in the Muslim community,” in response to highly visible anti-Muslim statements and actions in the United States over the last year.
Delegates and visitors to the committee deliberations told story after story, both about anti-Muslim activities in their home regions and actions taken by UCC churches in response. Matt Davis of La Crosse, Wisc., said the resolution is very timely for his community. A local Muslim congregation has been growing, and looks now to purchase land to build a mosque.
“We can already feel stirrings against it,” he said. With Davis’ encouragement, the committee added language to the resolution calling for documentation and publicity of actions taken “in support of Muslims and people of other faiths.”
Margaret Johnston, a laywoman from the Gainesville, Fla. area, offered a sign of hope from the very center of the Quran burning controversy. After the desecration, UCC pastors the Revs. Lawrence and Sandra Reimer joined with clergy of several confessions in the Gainesville Interfaith Forum to speak against hateful acts with one clear voice. They have chosen to act together as well, and the group will undertake a Habitat for Humanity building project together.
The final vote on the resolution is expected Monday or Tuesday.