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SPCK shops told to banish the Qur’an

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=29834 SPCK shops told to banish the Qur an by Pat Ashworth SPCK bookshops have been instructed not to stock the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2006
      http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=29834

      SPCK shops told to banish the Qur'an
      by Pat Ashworth

      SPCK bookshops have been instructed not to stock the Qur'an, a book
      that features on the reading lists of most religious-studies courses.
      The move comes in the wake of the partnership with the St Stephen the
      Great Charitable Trust (SSG), in which all 23 bookshops in England
      and Wales were transferred to the Eastern Orthodox charity, which is
      based in the United States (News, 27 October).

      Concerns over Islam are apparent on the SSG's website,
      (http://www.spck.org.uk/bookshops/) where the charity reports:
      "England has not only become extremely secularised in recent years,
      but has witnessed the explosion of Islam. . . In an effort to stem
      the growth of non-Christian faiths and re-establish Christianity in
      areas where it has been driven out, the Trust has acquired a
      beautiful building [the redundant St Mary Magdalene's] in Bradford.
      (This city has one of the highest percentages of resident Muslims in the UK.)"

      Text on the website has been amended since the Church Times published
      the report announcing the partnership. References to the "misguided
      beliefs" of those who turned to the Roman Catholic Church, and other
      references to the Orthodox Church as "the only Church true to the
      Word of God, and therefore the only one that offers true salvation
      and eternal life", have been removed.

      The charity now reiterates that in seeking to promote Orthodoxy in
      Britain: "We are not 'against' Protestants, Catholics or any others;
      rather, we are 'for' Orthodoxy. . .

      "The trustees of St Stephen the Great believe that a broad array of
      Orthodox Christian material can be distributed in England and Wales
      by continuing to serve SPCK's existing customer base of Anglicans,
      other Protestants, and Roman Catholics."

      The charity is headed by Mark Brewer, managing director of the Texan
      law firm, Brewer & Pritchard, who is a former judge advocate for the
      US Air Force at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. Mr Brewer said on Tuesday:
      "SPCK has never aimed to promote the knowledge of other religions.
      With the SPCK Book-shops being part of St Stephen the Great
      Charitable Trust, this will continue. . .

      "It is our further general intention to stock those items which will
      bring the gospel message of Jesus Christ to the widest possible
      audience. In doing so, we are mindful that the stocking of books
      which are inimical to Christianity, which without question the Qur'an
      is, could well create the wrong impression among some that we endorse
      the belief systems of other religions as 'equal' or viable
      alternatives to Christianity."

      Announcement of the change in partnership can be found at:
      http://www.spck.org.uk/latest_news/spck_bookshops_oct06.pdf
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