AUSTRALIA: Church signs like this are evidence of why so many people are choosing to leave the church

Parramatta Mission church sign says: “The best way to defeat the Islamic State is by befriending a Muslim.” (Indeed it is, especially right before he is about to cut off your head)

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Daily Telegraph (h/t Kenneth N)  Parramatta Mission has taken a strong stand on community relations with a controversial sign challenging people to “make friends with a Muslim”. The sign outside the Uniting Church in Macquarie St says, “The best way to defeat ISIL is to make friends with a Muslim.”

Mission chief executive Keith Hamilton said the organisation knew the billboard could be controversial but it was about sending a strong message. “We understood it might make us a target but sometimes you just have to do the right thing,” he said.

Mr Hamilton said he understood the sign had gone viral on social media and the feedback was that most people were pleased that a Church had put up the message. “Our view is that we need to make friends with everyone.

Parramatta Mission chief executive Keith Hamilton

Parramatta Mission chief executive Keith Hamilton

“Some people have been disparaging of Muslims and of other minority groups in the community but we believe everyone should be treated with respect. “If we ostracise sections of the community, people such as youths who are trying to work out their identity can be radicalised.”

Mr Hamilton said the church had a long history of co-operation with the local Islamic community which used to hold its prayer meetings on the Mission property before the Parramatta Mosque was established.

He said an interfaith prayer day last weekend was indicative of the Mission’s commitment to being inclusive.

Below video shows Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS) jihadists in Syria beheading three Christians, reportedly priests. (WARNING: Very Graphic Images)

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