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Oregon Pastor's Sign About Allah Causes Controversy, Called 'Bigoted'

The Belmont Drive Missionary Baptist Church in Hood River, Oregon, has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

With barely a dozen congregants on any given day, the church is not renowned for its Christian communal gatherings. In May, 2015, the Baptist Church incited controversy when they put up a highly controversial, anti-Islamic message on their message board.

The sign itself read: "Wake up Christians. Allah is not our God. Muhammad not greater than Jesus" with the reverse stating that the Quran is "just another book" and that the Christian Bible is scripture.

This blatant act of disrespect towards the Muslim community of the Hood River region comes only two months after a Buddhist man was assaulted after a man mistook him for a Muslim. Many in the community have spoken out against the racist and incriminating actions of the unnamed man. Many community members are similarly condemning the Baptist Church, stating that the church’s sign is damaging the reputation of those citizens of Hood River who are not against the Islamic religion.

Vocal community leader, Glen Patrizio, in a letter to the editor at Hood River News, highlighted how the message was completely against what Christians stand for and believes "it encourages hatred by setting up a false dichotomy of us versus them. How can Christianity claim to be the religion of love and forgiveness when its most vocal followers promote ignorance, bigotry and hatred?."

Hood River Mayor, Paul Blackburn, also expressed his disappointment and suggested that it is this kind of behavior that leads people to believe bigotry is accepted in the community.

Pastor Michael Harrington has expressed shock at the amount of his publicity his message board has received, with the 74 year old pastor believing that he was just hoping to let people know ‘the difference between Allah and God’. After the report began to gain traction online, Mr Harrington has been both scorned for his ignorance and insensitivity and also praised for showing his dedication to the word of God.

Source: Oregon Live
Photo: KATU

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