Saturday, October 03, 2009

Say hello to your future, Scotland

When your average American thinks of Scotland (in a religious perspective) we think of an overwhelming Protestant land. We probably perceive that due to the heavy Protestant Scots-Irish immigration in this country. But how many knew that besides being a once overwhelmingly Catholic country, roughly 1-out-of-9 Scotsmen present day is Catholic? Well, nominally Catholic, anyhow.

And like everywhere else in Eurabia, that's coming to an end. Here's some of the article from The National (United Arab Emirates); (Emphasis and comments mine)

Empty churches, full mosques
Several redundant churches in Glasgow and other parts of Scotland are slowly being converted into mosques as Christian congregations dwindle while a growing Muslim population demands more places to worship. Colin Randall, foreign correspondent, reports

GLASGOW // When the Glasgow Central Mosque, then rivalling the biggest in Europe, opened a quarter of a century ago, it seemed all the needs of Muslim worshippers in Scotland’s largest city would be met at its imposing site on the banks of the Clyde.

But as the city’s Muslim population has swelled to 33,000, with the Pakistanis who have always formed its main component joined by refugees from conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan, demand has continued to grow for space. More than 70 years after organised worship first began, in the homes of Pakistani immigrants, Glasgow has 14 mosques, and some feel it could do with more.

In their different attempts to cater for Scotland’s largest Muslim communities, both al Furqan and the Edinburgh Blackhall mosque also cast light on the steady decline in Christian worship. Increasingly, mosques are being created or expanded in what were Christian premises; al Furqan occupies a building formerly owned by a neighbouring centre for the elderly, run by Christian spiritualists, while the Blackhall mosque has made its home in what was until 2006 a church of the United Free Church of Scotland.

“We find quite often that mosques are opening or extending in what used to be Christian church property,” said Dr Javed Hussain Gill, 56, the Pakistan-born secretary of the al Furqan mosque and a teacher of religious studies. “There is a logic to this because churches face Bethlehem which is very close, from here, to facing Mecca.” (Interesting how many pagan sites in Europe were conquered by Christian churches being built on them. The irony is inescapable.)

Wherever the phenomenon occurs, opinion is divided on whether finding a continuing use for redundant churches for the pursuit of faith, albeit a different faith, is something to be welcomed in a secular age – or another sign of the erosion of cultural identities.

“Within our denomination, I guess there would be varying views,” said the Rev John Fulton, general secretary of the United Free Church of Scotland. “Some would be reasonably happy to see a church maintained as a place of worship; others might have reservations.” (What a gutless worm. Just grow a back-bone and SAY IT!)

Reflecting widespread reluctance to speak publicly on such divisions, however, Mr Fulton did not wish “to be drawn into a large discussion of the issue”.

He described the closure of the Edinburgh church, which opened in the mid-1930s, as a consequence of falling attendances generally. “In the early years, it had a thriving congregation,” he said. But numbers had dwindled, from as many as 300 “probably down to the teens, and mostly elderly”.
(And if anyone thinks this is confined to just the Protestants, guess again.)

Mr Fulton said: “I suppose it is part of a fairly common trend in which many churches are experiencing declining attendance. I don’t believe demographics are involved. (Purposfully Ignoring the Obvious and Blatantly Stupid Statement of the Year.) There is still quite a large population in the area but for whatever reasons, the church was failing to draw folk in.” (Purposfully Ignoring the Obvious and Blatantly Stupid Statement of the Year, Part II.)

At present, simple reuse of the existing church accommodation provides space for 300 male worshippers and 200 women. In the second phase of the project, women will pray on a new mezzanine floor, (and where are the 'women's-rights' groups screaming about this forced segregation? Well... then again, no one really wants their head carved off) allowing their current area of the building to become classrooms for Islamic teaching. There are also plans for sporting and cultural groups.

“This is an exciting development,” said Umar Malik, 22, a law student born in Scotland to Pakistani parents and serves as the mosque’s director of operations. “It is run by youth for the youth. A lot of young people are involved, we have a go-ahead young imam who gets on well with them and we had a fantastic response from people in the area, which is predominantly non-Muslim, when we held a neighbourhood welcoming evening.” (And watch for conversions to islam to increase. The wishy-washy, weak-kneed brand of Christianity appeals to no one but the Kumbaya Zombies. As wrong as it may be, at least Islam adheres to moral absolutes... and most find that attractive.)

Non-Muslim neighbours do not always react so well to plans to open or extend mosques. The extent of opposition is sometime exaggerated; the Ribble Valley borough council which approved plans for the Clitheroe mosque insisted that reports of 900 objections were meaningless “because we get just as many when someone wants to add a conservatory”.

More disturbingly, Scots are thought to be among far-Right demonstrators hoping to stage a march in Glasgow in November. The so-called English Defence League, which claims to oppose not only Muslim extremists but has also demonstrated against new mosque building, is believed by Glaswegian Muslims, and the city’s Left, to be treating the occasion as a “coming out” event for its Scottish offshoot. (Yeah... if you defend Christendom, you're a Right-Wing extremist. Count me in.)

As Christian church attendances continue to fall, more church property may transfer to Muslim ownership. “There is sometimes opposition,” said Sohaib Saeed, a young volunteer imam and scholar at Cairo’s renowned Al Azhar University. “But others appreciate that the buildings are still put to religious use. I remember passing a church that had become a nightclub, seeing people outside with glasses of beer and feeling regretful, not because I thought it should be a mosque but because I wished it had still been a place of worship.” (Worship what? Your false god that demands airplanes be flown into buildings?)


Blogger JLS said...

The religion of Islam can accomodate almost any subcreed, such as Protestantism. Why? Because it requires very little other than lip service. In that many Catholics are that in lip service only, then Islam can accomodate them as well. That is how it conquers. That is the awe; whereas the shock part is what we see. It is Islam's version of love and peace: Screw the Christian Churches, and blow the infidels to peaces ... uh, pieces.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Glasgowbia...Scotistan...Eurabia...enough said

12:37 AM  
Blogger Al said...

IMHO, the 1st 3 words of the article give an insight into the view of the author about Christianity. "Several redundant churches" redundant??????

OK, there is no longer the need for them. But that doesn't make them redundant.

As was said, the churches were closed because folks weren't coming. Well DUH!!!!!!!!!!!! But the question that wasn't asked was Why the lack of people. But then that would require them to admit the truth about how far from the truth these churches had drifted.

1:03 AM  

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