Hawzah News Agency-(Minnesota, USA) - Opportunities to learn more about the Islamic faith is upcoming at Our Saviour’s Lutheran church in East Bethel and the Nusrat mosque in Coon Rapids.
Our Saviour’s Lutheran church, 19001 Jackson St. NE, will host its first series on Muslim-Christian relationships later this month.
“We thought that it would be really good for us to counter, as much as we could, all of the anxiety about Muslims and extremists,” said Deacon Glenndy Ose, minister of congregational life. “The members of our congregation are curious and not hostile.”
The series kicks off with a presentation by Ibrahim Bitrus, Nigerian theologian in residence for the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Bitrus is from Nigeria, where the Minneapolis area Synod maintains a partnership with the Lutheran church of Christ. Bitrus received his doctorate from Luther Seminary in St. Paul.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, Bitrus will give a presentation on Muslim-Christian relationships in Nigeria. About half of the African country identifies as Muslim, and the other half identifies as Christian. Tensions are high in northern Nigeria, particularly with violence from Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist terrorist group active in the region.
A question-and-answer session will follow Bitrus’ presentation, as will refreshments.
The following three Tuesday evenings, April 25, May 2 and May 9, the church will host a three-part series called “Our Muslim Neighbors” with sessions starting at 6:30 p.m.
Curriculum written by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is the basis for the series.
Fardosa Hassan, a 2012 graduate of Augsburg College currently working as a Muslim student program associate in campus ministry at Augsburg, will be the guest speaker at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church April 25. She will teach the Five Pillars of Islam, Muslims’ core beliefs, and touch on other Islamic faith traditions.
The following week, the discussion will focus on Jesus, Jews and Christians. Discussion questions center on what the Quran teaches about these three topics.
The final evening explores violence and the Islamic State (or ISIS or Daesh). Learning what the Quran says about the use of violence to convert others to Islam and creating an Islamic nation will provide background to help wrestle with big questions about what’s happening around the world today.