Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Manhattan mosque calls for a Christian response

Walter Ayres, a member of the Commission on Peace and Justice, wrote a column about this in The Evangelist:
In 1775, at the start of the American Revolution, only one of the 13 colonies permitted Catholics — then a religious minority — to practice their faith freely. Catholic priests found in New York risked imprisonment or hanging.

While Catholics today have risen to positions of power, today’s religious minorities face some of the same bigotry that our ancestors in the faith suffered in the past.

Do we identify with people who are persecuted, or with the ones who do the persecuting?

Controversy surrounds plans to build a mosque in Manhattan just a few blocks from Ground Zero. For many, this is an affront to the memory of those who died on 9/11. For others, these plans are a demonstration of America’s tolerance.

Too often, the fears we have are based on inaccurate information about a religious minority, just as the fears that led white Anglo-Saxon Protestants to ban Catholic priests were based on unfounded fears of Catholics.

The rest of the article is here.