Church of England should try to evangelize Muslims, lay Anglican says

Church of England should try to evangelize Muslims, lay Anglican says


A lay Anglican pressing the Church of England to work to convert Muslims to Christianity has reportedly secured enough support for his motion to be debated at the next Anglican General Synod.

The motion calls on the Anglican Church to proclaim that Christianity is the only route to ultimate salvation, BBC News reports.

Paul Eddy, a lay Anglican who is training to be a priest, has been denounced by some Muslims for his campaign to convert Muslims.  In an interview Sunday on BBC Radio Four, he said that the Anglican Church had “lost its nerve.”

"Both Christianity and Islam are missionary faiths," he said. "For years, we have sent missionaries throughout the whole world, but when we have the privilege of people of all nations on our doorstep, we have a responsibility as the state church to share the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Eddy claimed that 20 percent of Anglican parishes contained populations in which 60 percent of people were not Christian.  Without evangelization, he said, the church's inaction was in danger of creating “no-go areas for the Gospel.”

He also said he has received angry e-mails and telephone calls from leading Anglicans denouncing his motion.  He also claims to have the support of at least 124 members of the synod, including the Bishops of Rochester, Carlisle and Chester.

Eddy said that his move would not upset many Muslims.

"Most Muslims that I've talked to say, 'I really wish that Christians would stop watering down their faith and expecting us to do the same.'”

"Until we start really saying what we really believe in our faith, there will be no respect,” Eddy said.

He continued: "They will expect us - if we're true Christians - to try to evangelize them, in the same way they will expect us, if they're true Muslims, to adopt their faith.”

Eddy has called for bishops to draw up a code of good practice to advise church members how to evangelize and how to support former Muslims who are ostracized by their communities for converting to Christianity.