Imagine learning Quranic chants from an anti-Christ religion, to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? That’s exactly what’s going on at a so-called “Christian” festival this month. Christian worshipers at the annual Greenbelt Christian festival near London can now learn Islamic worship chants to Allah.
It’s a Chrislamic syncretism that will be taught to kids, teens and adults August 25 – 28. The social justice/environmental festival is called Greenbelt 2017: The Common Good. Which explains a lot. The chanting lessons are taught at the festival by the Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa, an international non-profit group, which invites Christians to learn how to use basic universal Sufi chants. Greenbelt Christian leaders say the chants are rhythmic, and have healing properties. Festival-goers are invited to “come, enter in, learn and participate”.
Ansari’s mission is to promote Sufism founded on the Quran, while the Greenbelt website says its primary mission is “to be available to guide seekers of Allah”.
Even more alarming, if you can imagine it, is that Greenbelt is featuring other Muslim guests at the festival. Abdalhamid Evans is a British Muslim convert who will lead a discussion titled “Scriptural Reasoning Remixed” a “fun and thoughtful conversation around the music and lyrics that move us as spiritual people”. Another is Ahmad Ikhlas, a British born Jamaican convert to Islam.
Greenbelt’s Creative Director, Paul Northup, told Christian Today:
“It is because we are Christian that we do this. Not because we want to dilute or deny our faith. It’s because we want to be true to our faith and to continue to live and express it dynamically, creatively and generously. In a world which seems ever-more divided, then we want to build bridges not barriers.”
Being able to introduce this new venue and programme feeds into Greenbelt’s commitment to help build better religious literacy, and is a continuation of Greenbelt’s programming about the Muslim faith at previous festivals. We want to play our part in dismantling the extremist stereotyping and narrative the Muslim faith and community have laboured under, and to provide a space of welcome and conversation.
“In a world that can even entertain the idea of a Muslim travel ban – freedom of movement being curtailed based on religious identity – and where identity politics more generally seem to trump all, it’s important for us to make room to bring people of different faiths and understandings together and to respectfully allow them to demonstrate how they worship.
This kind of blended mix should not be. And yet Saddleback Church does it without blinking an eye. The Gospel alone has the power to save. The Quran is Satan’s tool to deceive Muslims, and well-meaning Christians are using it to cause them to think that they believe in the real Jesus. But here’s the truth: Their Jesus, “Isa,” is a different Jesus, a “great prophet,” but not the only Son of the Living God. Use the Bible not the Quran to being Muslims to Salvation. This is where the power lies.