Uneasy Messenger

The National Council of Churches Struggles to Address Islamic Violence

by Jeff Walton

The National Council of Churches (NCC) has not always seemed sure of itself when addressing Islam. Eager to please its interfaith partners and to counter alleged Islamophobia in American society, it has often exercised self-censorship. Islam, in its account, is a religion of peace and justice—not a cause of war and oppression. At the same time, this American ecumenical body cannot dismiss the cries of partner churches overseas suffering persecution under Islamist regimes.

“My life could be in danger,” the Reverend Dr. Charles Amjad-Ali told the gathered church delegations at the NCC General Assembly in Minneapolis in November 2009. . . .

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Jeff Walton directs the Anglican program for the Institute on Religion & Democracy. Prior to joining IRD, Walton served as a congressional staffer in offices that interacted with churches on human rights and religious liberty issues. He is a member of Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, Virginia.

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