The Episcopal Church of Rhode Island has terminated the ministry of Ann Holmes Redding over a novel dispute. For three years, Redding has been both a practicing Christian and practicing Muslim. While Redding does not see a conflict, the church has essentially told her to pick a God and go with it.
Redding was a minister for over 30 years before her removal from the rolls last week.
Roughly three years ago, she was taken by the faith while listening to an imam’s chants and meditation. Just ten days later, Redding said the shahada (“There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God”) — the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Mohammad as his prophet.
She adopted an interesting defense in the disciplinary proceedings with the church: she has added a religion but not a new God: “Both religions say there’s only one God, and that God is the same God. It’s very clear we are talking about the same God! So I haven’t shifted my allegiance.”
The Diocese of Rhode Island, where Redding was ordained, told her to leave either her new Muslim faith or the ministry.
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