The Oldham Chronicle printed a positive article about our work with Iranian people. You can read the full article here.
It opens with these words:
Tucked away in Glodwick is a church so small you don’t even notice it.
Bethel Church, a gospel-centred evangelical church in Waterloo Street, has all the usual activities one would expect in churches today: prayer meetings, Sunday services, after-school activities and so on.
But what makes the place so intriguing is that it is home to a very diverse congregation, especially a growing Iranian Christian community fleeing from persecution.
And happily closes with these ones from one of our Iranian members:
I found Christianity a more peaceful religion. It is totally different from Islam. Jesus didn’t fight for power or government. He didn’t want anything for himself. Jesus gave me peace.
Do read the whole thing if you get a minute. Access the article at the Oldham Chronicle Website.
I notice there are 2 responses under the article, both pessimistic, clearly some people are unhappy.
I also notice this in the newspaper article:
Would it not be more honest for the chronicle to say that it will always be so, as it is recorded in the hadith that apostates should be killed? Harsh punishments are also called for in the Koran (a hand to be cut off on one side and a foot on the other), for those that “spread mischief in the land”, a very vague statement that could mean just about anything.
I have to tell you I think those pessimists might have less to worry about if our heir apparent was not promising to defend this kind of thing, and our Prime Minister was not promising to silence those who dare to criticize the religion. A chaplain to the Queen recently “resigned” over this matter as well. We must continue to criticize our own establishment as they are not believers in the importance of the freedom of speech, a very hard won freedom (as you have done so wisely here). If we lose that freedom, what point will there be for those who are genuinely seeking freedom to come here?
Thank you for your comment.
I noted those comments underneath too. I suspect the negativity is coming more from the general feeling amongst some in the town that asylum seekers, whoever they may be, are necessarily bad. I suspect it is driven more by “anti-foreigner” feeling than anything to do with the rights and wrongs of Islam, the moral case for accepting asylum seekers nor the relative merits of any individuals particular case.
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