Protesters dressed as Muslims interrupted a church service in New South Wales, Australia on Sunday, chanting anti-Islamic slogans and playing verses from the Quran on a bullhorn. The rector of Gosford Anglican Church, the Reverend Rod Bower, posted later on the church’s Facebook page “A right wing hate group violated our sacred space and traumatised and terrorised our congregation this morning. They unwittingly provided a perfect sermon illustration for today’s Gospel Luke 12:49-56. “Jesus said I did not come to bring peace”. This is one of the difficult sayings of Jesus that needs deeper understanding. Sadly these hate filled people would have certainly claimed to be Christian on last Tuesdays census, but they know not Christ or his peace…this is “radicalised Christianity” and right wing terrorism and should be named as such. ”
Police are investigating the incident.
The church has been outspoken on its beliefs, supporting same-sex marriage, extending welcome to people of other faiths, and most notably expressing outrage on the treatment of asylum seekers. A recent message on the church’s sign read: “Hell exists, and it’s on Nauru” referring to the abuse of asylum seekers in detention camps on the island of Nauru.
The protesters, a part of the right-wing Party for Freedom group, left the church without incident but later posted pictures of the stunt on their Facebook page. They have been particularly aggressive on social media against Reverend Bower, decrying his support of Muslims and multiculturalism and calling him “FOUL HERETIC, BLASPHEMER AND SODOMITE SUPPORTER. OPPOSE THIS ANTICHRIST SUPPORTER IN AUSTRALIA!” and further insisting “No doubt there are many good Australians of different backgrounds out there however why are they so quiet in defending Australia from dirty multicultural attacks?”.
Photo: Party for Freedom