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Claremont United Church of Christ Stands With Islamic Neighbors


     Claremont United Church of Christ (CUCC) is now the proud owner of a Quran.  

     The Islamic holy book was presented by Imam Shamshad Nasir of the Bait ul Hameed Mosque in Chino and accepted by CUCC Pastor Rob Patton and the congregation this past Sunday, September 12.  The presentation was part of Imam Nasir’s guest sermon to the congregation. 

     “I, and many of our congregation, have been disappointed, disheartened and even angered at the rhetoric and posturing taking place in our country,  and even in our own backyard, directed at our Muslim brothers and sisters by people calling themselves ‘Christian,'” said Pastor Patton.  “Jesus did not use fear as a strategy.  Jesus did not use coercion as a motivator.  The Christ that we proclaim and follow did not espouse hate or violence as tenets of faith.”

     Imam Nasir read from the Quran in Arabic and provided an English translation, followed by a sermon.  He was accompanied by about a dozen members from his congregation at the mosque. 

     “We thank God Almighty that we are here–Christian and Muslim,” said Imam Nasir.  Later he observed:   If any Muslim does not stand for peace, he is not a Muslim.  We can claim whatever we want, but our actions must prove our words. We have differences, there is no doubt in it, but it does not mean that if I have a difference with you I should burn your book.”

     The Imam’s visit was just one of a series of events which CUCC was part of this last week.  A number of faiths participated in the Walk for Peace and Friendship this past Sunday evening at 5:00 pm, to show solidarity and support with other faiths.

     Previously, Imam Shamshad had invited the CUCC congregation to attend their Breaking of the Ramadan Fast meal this past Friday at their mosque.  Pastor Patton and several members attended.

     “This past weekend commemorated an act of terror motivated by distrust and hate,”  said Patton.  “We thought it important to involve ourselves in activities that encouraged trust and love.”

     Claremont United Church of Christ is an open and affirming congregation in which all persons regardless of race, ethnic background, economic status, gender, age, personal ability, or sexual orientation are equally affirmed into membership and leadership and are joyfully welcomed!  The United Church of Christ is a progressive Christian nomination with more than 1.1 million members. 

     Claremont United Church of Christ is located at 233 West Harrison Ave, Claremont CA 91711; 909/626-1201.  Also refer to the church’s website at www.claremontucc.org.

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