Church Is Not Doing Enough to Convert UK Muslims, Says Bishop; ACCUSATION: Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 25, 2008 | Go to article overview

Church Is Not Doing Enough to Convert UK Muslims, Says Bishop; ACCUSATION: Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali


Byline: Jonathan Petre

THE Church of England was accused by one of its most senior bishopsyesterday of failing in its duty to convert British Muslims to Christianity.

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, said Church leaders hadrightly shown sensitivity towards Muslims as part of efforts to welcomeminority faiths.

But he said: 'I think it may have gone too far and what we need now is torecover our nerve.' Dr Nazir-Ali, who faced death threats earlier this yearafter saying that some parts of the country had become 'no-go areas' fornon-Muslims, said that it was important for faiths to talk to one anotherwithout diluting their core beliefs.

'Our nation is rooted in the Christian faith, and that is the basis forwelcoming people of other faiths,' he said. 'You cannot have an honestconversation on the basis of fudge.' The Pakistani-born bishop, who in 2002 wastipped to become Archbishop of Canterbury before Dr Rowan Williams took overfrom Dr George Carey, was echoing concerns that many Church leaders areabandoning attempts to spread Christianity among Muslims out of fear of abacklash.

Members of the Church's 'parliament' have now forced the highly sensitive issueon to the agenda of this summer's General Synod - despite the efforts ofliberal bishops to warn them off.

A private members' motion calling on the bishops to clarify their strategy hasgathered so many signatures of support from Synod members that it has leaptover others in the queue for the July meeting in York. …

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