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Islam from a Christian Point of View

PRESS RELEASE
4 August 2005

Christians called to extend hand of friendship in wake of rise in religious hate crimes

The Evangelical Alliance today called on Christians to make positive steps to reach out to Muslim and other faith communities in the wake of figures that show a six-fold increase in religious hate crimes in London since the bombings.

Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance, said, "Firstly, I would say that Christian communities throughout Britain should show the love of God by extending the hand of friendship to those affected by the actions of extremists and suffering violence and intimidation as a result. We need to care beyond our creed and serve without compromising our faith. Secondly, hard though it is to face the fact that there are terrorists in our midst, our Christian faith requires us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us and I would emphasise this command at the present time."

The Evangelical Alliance does remain concerned however, that the Government may use the current climate as an excuse for rushing through the racial and religious hatred legislation. It remains firm in its conviction that such legislation could exacerbate religious tension and increase community division.

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