Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Invitation to debate the propriety of reading the Koran in Christian worship

An Open Letter Inviting Kelvin Holdsworth for a Public Debate on the Blasphemy of Reading Quran during Holy Eucharist

Dear Kelvin Holdsworth, the politician in St Mary’s,

I am writing to invite you for a public debate on the Blasphemy of Reading the Quran during the Holy Eucharist in response to the reading of Quran in the Holy Communion Service on Epiphany Day in St Mary’s “Cathedral”, 6th January, 2017. While I clearly realise this is a serious act of blasphemy of insulting the Liturgy of the Word, the Holy Eucharist and therefore the presence of Christ, your hardened attitude shown on your blog and facebook shows that you have no intention to apologise and repent for the blasphemy because you don’t think it is a blasphemy. Your use of fallacies of such as a red herring and straw-man shifts the topic from the holiness of the sacrament to the attitude to Muslim community, which only enflames the opposition and strengthens the schism within Anglican Communion, and particularly upsets the brothers and sisters in the Church of England and Hong Kong Sheung Kung Hui. You bring a real Islamphobia to the church because you bring an innocent Muslim reader into a case of Blasphemy. You even call the police to suppress the online criticisms. The poor reputation of Scottish Episcopal Church caused by the Blasphemy has also weakened the ecumenical friendship of Anglican Communion with Romand Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. A public debate, therefore, is needed for the international Anglican Communion so as to bring back the debate from church politics to the essential truth of Christian faith.

Once you agree with having a debate with me on the topic of debate “Reading Quran in the Liturgy of the Word of the Holy Eucharist is Blasphemy” (I am the affirmative and you will be the negative), we may ask a third party to arrange the event and set up rules. No judge is needed. Only a host is needed. The debate aims to articulate the argumentation in rigorous instead of political sense. Just broadcast the debate online and let the Anglican Christian allover the world to see which side proclaims the truth of God. The best time for a debate will be in March when the Lent begins.

However, if you do not want to have a debate because you regret of arranging the reading of Quran, I would ask you to take the actions as follow:

  1. Openly repent and ask for forgiveness from not only the College of Bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church, but from the brothers and sisters within the Anglican Communion are  hurt by the Blasphemy,

  2. Admit that not reading the Epistle according to the lectionary in the Liturgy of the Word is Blasphemy, and promise that all inter-faith dialogue in future will only be undertaken in non-sacramental setting (and follow the examples of the inter-faith dialogue done by Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui),

  3. Resign from the office of the Provost for being fully responsible to the blasphemy, so that the conservative will have no excuse for schism from the Anglican Communion on this particular issue, and

  4. Apologise to the Muslim Community who is brought into a debate on blasphemy among Christian because of your wrong decision (Muslim is not supposed to have any knowledge of sacrament, but you are supposed to have).

If you, however, obstinately argue that reading Quran instead of reading the Epistle in the Liturgy of the Word is absolutely correct, and you think you are sinless, you should be willing to have a public debate with an Eastern liberal and articulate your Western definition of inclusiveness and openness which excludes the Epistle. I don’t think you are afraid of being defeated by a student in a debate as a church politician, considering your excellent skill of inciting the crowd. But if you have any interesting reason to refuse to have a public debate with me, please do let me know.


Andrew Ka Pok Tam

PhD Student in Theology and Religious Studies, University of Glasgow

Communicant of HKSKH

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