A Lutheran Response to Anti-Islamic Rhetoric

01-May-2019 to 01-May-2019

Pittsburgh, Pa. — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has been engaging in inter-religious relations since its formation in 1988. Unfortunately, in every religion, Christianity included, some people distort, misuse, or abuse religion to incite violence and cause harm. When anti-Islamic remarks of a local pastor  were published under the headline “Pa. Lutheran Pastor criticized…,” Bishop Kurt Kusserow of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA was quick to reject anti-Islamic rhetoric as representative of a Lutheran worldview, and to encourage that Lutherans ought not allow that voice to determine or influence the perception of their neighbors.

“We know that words have the power to cause harm, but words also have the power to foster healing,” wrote Bishop Kusserow in a letter to leaders of Muslim communities in and around Pittsburgh immediately after learning of the remarks. He added personal gratitude for their leadership demonstrated in “the robust commitment to interfaith cooperation and respect that exists in the Pittsburgh area.”


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A Lutheran Response to Anti-Islamic Rhetoric A Lutheran Response to Anti-Islamic Rhetoric (261 KB)