Dan Marsh

Use Koran at Charles' coronation, says bishop

Sat 29 Nov 2014
By Antony Bushfield

A senior Church of England bishop has said a passage from the Islamic Holy Book should be read out at the coronation of Prince Charles.

Speaking in the House of Lords the former Bishop of Oxford Lord Harries said it would be a 'creative act of accommodation' to use the Koran.

Normally at a coronation of a British King or Queen Christianity is the only religion involved in the service with readings from the Bible only.

Lord Harries, who's now serving as an assistant bishop in the diocese of Southwark, told peers the Church should use 'its historic position in a hospitable way'.

He raised a service at Bristol Cathedral last year where a passage of the Koran was read before the Christian service.

"It was a brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel, as she said, warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation. That principle of hospitality can and should be reflected in many public ceremonies, including the next coronation service," he said.

In the past Charles has spoken about his relationship with other faiths.

He once said he wanted to be known as 'Defender of Faith' rather than the current 'Defender of the Faith' title.

The bishop's speech has been criticised by the Christian Institute.

Simon Calvert from the organisation told the Daily Mail: "Most people will be amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the Koran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey.

"People are just so disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in the claims of the Christian faith."

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