Interfaith Event Barred from Baptist Church at Last Minute

http://www.statesman.com/search/content/news/stories/local/11/16/1116hydepark.html

An interfaith Thanksgiving holiday event had to be moved because the congregation and/or leaders of the Baptist church where it was supposed to be held didn’t wish to allow Muslims onto their property.

It’s probably not that big a deal, the Baptist church clergy didn’t intend to participate anyway, they were just renting space. The interfaith group that booked the church back in summer says they made it clear that there would be non-Christians in attendance. The Baptist church leadership says they didn’t know it until this week, when they received a postcard reminder about the event with all kinds of scary Muslim stuff on it.

Kent Jennings, associate pastor of administration at Hyde Park, released a statement Thursday that said church leaders received a postcard about the service Monday and only then realized that it “was not a Christian oriented event.”

The postcard also “promised space for Muslim Maghrib prayer and revealed that the event was co-hosted by the Central Texas Muslimaat, the Forum of Muslims for Unity, and the Institute of Interfaith Dialog,” according to Hyde Park’s statement.

Luckily, a synagogue stepped up and offered their space to the revelers.

With hundreds of people expected to attend and only a few days to find another site, Muslim organizer Shams Siddiqi said they couldn’t find another facility. That’s when leaders at Congregation Beth Israel, Austin’s largest synagogue, offered to host the celebration.

“Symbolically, that’s a very good thing,” Siddiqi said of the joint Jewish-Muslim endeavor.

Of Hyde Park’s decision, he said it was “unfortunate that people still feel this way in this day and age.”

Here’s a little explanatory note from the article:

Some Christians object to praying with people of other faith backgrounds or allowing those people to worship in their sanctuaries.

You learn something new every day.

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