All Saints Church under Attack from Right-Wing Extremists for Hosting MPAC Convention
All Saints Church, Pasadena, and MPAC announced they will hold a press conference on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 9 a.m. at All Saints Church (132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena, 91101) to address recent hateful attacks on the church for hosting a national American Muslim convention. MPAC’s 12th Annual Convention on Saturday, Dec. 15, is the first time an American Muslim organization will hold its national convention in a Christian church.
Thursday’s press conference will bring together Southern California interfaith clergy and leaders to voice their common commitment to the shared values of love, justice, mutual understanding and compassion in the face of this latest outbreak of Islamophobia.
ALL SAINTS CHURCH & MPAC PRESS CONFERENCE
WHO: Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President, The Rev. Edwin J. Bacon, Jr., Senior Pastor of All Saints Church, Dr. Maher Hathout, MPAC’s Senior Adviser
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, at 9 a.m.
WHERE: All Saints Church, Pasadena
In his sermon this past Sunday, the Rev. Edwin J. Bacon, Jr., Senior Pastor of All Saints Church, shared the hate mail he had received since the church announced the convention:
“We have begun to receive some of the most vile, mean-spirited email I’ve ever read in my life, talking about All Saints participating in terrorism by being hospitable to Muslims. There are so many people out there who think they know about being religious, and all the information they get is from fundamentalists who sell fear and intolerance. We have to end the toxic narrative. To be a member of All Saints Church is to be a member of the peacemaking community in the world, and to that end, I also believe that to be religious in the 21st century is to be inter-religious. MPAC is one of our integral partners in interfaith peacemaking.”
From Dr. Cornel West to Pastor Rick Warren to Tariq Ramadan, MPAC has brought together the top minds of the world each year for open, honest discussions about the issues impacting American Muslims.
“Our convention theme is ‘Our Future in the Making,’ and the truth is, the future is now,” said Salam al-Marayati, MPAC President. ”Holding our convention at a church and inviting a multi-faith audience should be a source of hope and encouragement to the world, as we come together to glimpse what is possible and experience what a future of peace could look like.”
All Saints Church is a sanctuary, a safe place for all people and has stood for justice and inclusion for decades. In 1942 then-Rector Frank Scott stood on the tracks at Union Station protesting Japanese-Americans being interned in prison camps. In the 1960’s John Burt was one of very few white preachers willing to sit with Martin Luther King, Jr., in Los Angeles, and George Regas was one of the first priests in the U.S. to protest the war in Vietnam and Apartheid in South Africa. It is in the DNA of All Saints Church to stand up for justice and provide a voice for the marginalized in society.