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Queen's chaplain: Glasgow cathedral owes apology to persecuted Christians over Qur'an reading

by Aaron James

In an open letter to The Times, Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden urged St Mary's Scottish Episcopal Cathedral to apologise to victimised believers, after their suffering was "treated so casually" by it.

It's after St Mary's allowed a passage from the Qur'an to be read out in Arabic during its Jan 6 Epiphany Service, which contained a verse saying Jesus was not God and shouldn't be worshipped.

St Mary's said it allowed the Qur'an passage to be read out to foster better interfaith relations with Muslims, and some people have taken to social media to applaud the cathedral on its decision.

Others were upset by a passage denying Jesus's lordship being read out during a church service. The Scottish Episcopal Church has said it's "deeply disturbed" by the distress caused by the reading of the Qur'an passage, but has not apologised.

St Mary's Cathedral has also confirmed it's contacted the police over some messages it's received over its decision to have the passage read out.

Rev Dr Gavin said: "Sanctioning a key passage from the Qur'an which denies the divinity of Jesus to be read in Christian worship has been widely criticised as a rather serious failure.

"Quite apart from the wide distress (some would say blasphemy) caused by denigrating Jesus in Christian worship, apologies may be due to the Christians suffering dreadful persecution at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere.

"To have the core of a faith for which they have suffered deeply treated so casually by senior western clergy such as the Provost of Glasgow is unlikely to have a positive outcome."

Premier has contacted the Scottish Episcopal Church for interview.

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