Outside prayer event to counter inside prayer event at Ford Field


Outside prayer event to counter inside prayer event at Ford Field

Shawn D. Lewis/ The Detroit News

Detroit—They’re coming in droves to pray for Detroit on Friday night. They’ll all be praying to Jesus, but they’ll be on different sides of the fence.
One event, known as TheCall Detroit 11.11.11, will hold a massive summit inside Ford Field, while another group of local clergy said it will counter TheCall with its own prayer vigil outside Ford Field.

The latter group, which on Wednesday solicited help from Occupy Detroit, claims TheCall is anti-Muslim and said it will march from the Occupy Detroit base on Grand Circus and Woodward to the outside of Ford Field. It is calling its event the “Crusade Against Hate.”

The recently organized group claims TheCall is masquerading as a prayer event, but its message is anti-homosexual, anti-abortion and anti-Muslim.

“We’re proclaiming that God loves all people: homosexuals, rich, poor, black, white, and we want to alert people who may not be aware of whom they’re supporting,” said D. Alexander Bullock, senior pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church. “What we’re doing is organizing against hate.”

Lou Engle, co-founder of TheCall, based in Kansas City, did not return phone calls. On its website, it says the purpose of the event is to pray, fast and call out to God. And to save Detroit from itself. The website says, “We will gather to this city that has become a microcosm of our national crisis —economic collapse, racial tension, and the shedding of innocent blood of our children in the streets and of our unborn.” It also says it is calling the nation to a 24-hour solemn assembly, “daring to believe that Detroit’s desperation can produce a prayer that can change a nation.”

But missing from the website were what followed “racial tension” in the sentence last week: “the rising tide of the Islamic movement.”

Pastor Marvin Winans of Perfecting Church in Detroit, said he will be supporting Engle and TheCall. He said the summit is open to everyone.
“Jews can come, Islamics can come, Buddhists can come, but we’re only going to be praying to Jesus,” he said. “It is not anti-Islam.”

Muslim leader Dawud Walid last week warned local mosques to step up their security, and Wednesday said he is encouraging Muslims to stay away from Ford Field on Friday night.

“I stand in solidarity in spirit with the clergy, but I will be speaking at a mosque in Dearborn at the same time, and for the safety of our community, especially females, I am not encouraging Muslims to go down to that area because we don’t want to have a scene where some may become belligerent,” said Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan.

Bullock’s group held a news conference in front of the Occupy Detroit base Wednesday, and several in the tent city said they would support the counter prayer vigil outside Ford Field, despite their unfamiliarity with the controversy.

“What I’ve heard is that TheCall uses a lot of hate speech, and the idea of the speech disguised in prayer is unacceptable, and we’re not going to stand for it,” said Steve Harig, 28, of Taylor.


One thought on “Outside prayer event to counter inside prayer event at Ford Field

  1. Mr. Walid, I post here as I cannot reach you by more conventional means. I should start by saying I am a Christian, and unlike the SELF-proclaimed apostles of TheCall, I have actually read and understood the meaning in the words of Jesus Christ. They are remarkably similar, if not the very same, as your Allah. The messages of both are, very simply, love your neighbor as you love yourself, and treat others how you would like them to treat you, regardless of how they actually treat you. But you already know this, and im sure this is a great source of both humor and anger to you regarding the current incarnation of the Christian religion. The purpose of this is more a warning, than anything else. TheCall refers to the “ancient paths”, but the actuality is that when the times get difficult, cull from your flock the weak, the diseased, and the infirm, and the flock will be healthy again. Unfortunately for you, the bulk of ignorant America will not care that the ones they attack are the kind, generous folk of the world; just as the extremists of your own religion did not care that the americans they killed in 9/11 were innocent. Simply, it will not matter. To the soon to be terrorist extremists of the christian religion, muslims are muslims, and death to them all. Sadly, I dare say we both wish for none of this to come to pass, however I am more of a realist than an optimist, and I excel at seeing that which lies below the surface. In closing, I would like to say your best argument against them will be Christ’s own message of peace and understanding for all humanity. However, be prepared for retaliations along the lines of no one knows the Bible better than the devil. I thank you for your time reading this, and would you like to speak with me, you have my E-mail.

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