Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Jesus Mosque


Spotted this on a friend's blog and traced it back to the Third Way website... Contraversial and interesting in a multi-faith world...

The Jesus Mosque

A new mosque in the town of Madaba in Jordan has been dedicated to one of the more controversial prophets of Islam, Jesus.

The dedication is an attempt by local Muslims to encourage dialogue with Christians, according to the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi. ‘Calling Madaba’s new mosque after the son of the Virgin Mary’ says the local Muslim worshipper Osama Abu al-Walid, ‘is an important initiative to improve dialogue in our town, whose Christian and Muslim population coexists.’

The Christian community of Madaba dates back to the early centuries, and the town’s great tourist attraction is its Christian mosaics, especially a map of the Holy Land in the floor of St George’s.The Jesus mosque, which neighbours a church, is decorated with relevant texts from the Qu’ran, such as: ‘God would have you think of Jesus as you think of Adam, created by God from the dust, saying to him “Be”, and into being he came’.

The local imam Jamal Safarati explains, ‘In this way, we want to emphasise that Jesus is also our prophet and is loved by all Muslims’.

In a converse phenomenon, the US Center for World Mission among others has reported the existence of ‘Jesus mosques’, where Christian converts in Islamic countries worship Christ under the guise of traditional Islamic worship.

Some, says the Center, are old mosques taken over by Christian communities. Others have been started by missionaries, such as Alejandro and Bertha Ortiz in Benin. ‘They leave their shoes at the door, and ritually wash their hands, feet and heads. They kneel on mats in unison and bow their heads to the ground,’ reports the Center.

‘They worship the God of the Bible [and] believe Jesus is the Messiah and only source of salvation.’

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