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A bright night for the Church: A recap of the Phoenix mosque protest

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Last week, a protest in front of a mosque in Phoenix made local and international news as the media reported a clash between about 250 heavily armed protesters and an equal number of counter-protesters.

Protesters2
The protest, deemed the “Freedom of Speech Rally,” was staged at the mosque where the two gunmen killed in Texas were said to have worshiped. Friday’s event followed a cartoon contest to draw derogatory pictures of the Muslim prophet Mohammed, and protesters were encouraged to bring guns to the mosque.

   
A lesser reported aspect of the story is the Church’s peace-making presence in the midst of this potentially violent demonstration: With fewer than 24 hours’ notice, more than 150 Christians from dozens of Phoenix-area churches assembled to form a line between the protesters and the mosque in what they called the “Love Your Neighbor Rally.”

Church
Opposite the protesters and intermixed with people of various faiths, atheists, and even inciteful anarchists, Christians stood quietly and confidently, holding signs with Bible verses, praying aloud, handing water to people on both sides of the police line, and engaging in calm discussion about the presence of Islam in their community.

   
“We wanted to demonstrate the pattern of the cross–being compelled by the love of Christ to put ourselves in harm’s way for the sake of the other (Phil 2:6-11, Col. 1:24),” says Jim Mullins, one of the leaders of this rally and a pastor at Redemption Church who has spent years building bridges between Christian and Muslim leaders in Phoenix.

Click below to read the story from Jim’s perspective:

The story

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