This is a new one, but it’s an old one at the same time.
Apparently, a substantial number of Muslims in the Las Vegas region have converted to Christianity. On its face, that’s good news.
However, they seem to be having a hard time making the transition, as a group that admittedly includes a large number of ex-Muslims has taken to targeting local Catholic Churches for, shall we say, “guerrilla evangelism.”
At several churches in recent weeks, the group Koosha Las Vegas has stormed Masses as they were being celebrated and taken over, shouting at parishioners and passing out pamphlets.
Many of the parishioners report being terrified and concerned about terrorism because of the men’s aggressive demeanor and because they have shouted at Catholics to repent, calling the pope Satan, accusing Catholics of worshiping idols and a lot of other mean stuff that certain denominations of Protestants like to say about the Catholic Church.
Christianity has fractured so many times over petty differences across the centuries that there’s hardly a denomination that doesn’t have a beef with some other denomination, historically, theologically or ideologically. Some denominations, like the Westboro Baptists, just hate everybody who isn’t them.
Needless to say, God cannot be pleased with this behavior.
But even so, it’s far from usual for one church to invade another during a service.
Which brings me back to the ex-Muslim thing.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of information online about this Koosha Las Vegas group beyond the news stories about its congregational raids. However, the behavior of these folks seems very reminiscent of the sort of behavior of Sunni Muslims toward Shi’ites and the ordinances of the Koran which stipulate that infidels are to convert or die.
The biases they are expressing toward Catholics are nothing new. Many of those same biases are probably held by some readers of this blog. Still, you can’t help but wonder if the converts’ pastor has had a discussion with them about the Golden Rule.
You also can’t help but wonder why a group of converts — if they truly are converts from Islam — wouldn’t spend their energy trying to get their former fellow Muslims to see the light.
The other interesting factor in these raids is that nobody has been charged with so much as a misdemeanor. The group has certainly broken laws against trespassing, and they’ve clearly violated the Nevada Constitution, which provides that no one shall be harassed over their religion. They could probably also be charged under the state’s hate crimes statutes.
But so far, local authorities have shown no interest in prosecuting.
Wonder if somebody stormed a mosque during prayers and yelled at Muslims to convert just how long he would get away with that sort of behavior?