A senior Church of England bishop has said that Prince Charles’ coronation service should include a reading from the Quran so that Muslims feel “embraced” by the nation – a proposal which is being criticized by some Christian groups in the U.K.
Lord Harries of Pentregarth, the former Bishop of Oxford who now serves as an assistant bishop in the diocese of Southwark, made the proposal during a House of Lords debate, U.K.’s Daily Mail reports.
Reading the Quran at the coronation would mean the Church of England is taking the lead in “exercising its historic position in a hospitable way,” as well as allow leaders of non-Christian religions to give their blessing to the new king, the bishop was quoted as saying.
Referring to a civic service in Bristol Cathedral last year, where the opening passage of the Quran was read before the beginning of the Christian service, Lord Harry said, “It was a brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel, as she said, warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation.”
More than two decades ago, Prince Charles, the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II, said he would like to portray himself as
“Defender of Faith
” rather than “Defender of the Faith.”
“Most people will be amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the Quran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey,” the newspaper quoted Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute think-tank as saying. “People are just so disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in the claims of the Christian faith.”
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