Ontario Church Youth Group Visits Local Mosque

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The high school youth group of Jubilee Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ont., attended a celebration of World Hijab Day at that city’s local mosque, Masjid Al Noor, on February 2. The group of 20 teens and five leaders was among an estimated 500 attendees of the annual event co-sponsored by the Qamer Foundation and the Islamic Society of St. Catharines

In an email to youth group members’ families describing why they chose to make this a youth group outing, the church’s youth and young adult ministry coordinator Anna Bailey wrote: “It’s a worthwhile opportunity, in light of the tragic events at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec this past weekend, to stand with the Muslim community in Niagara, to lift our heads high together, and share life together. And [it’s] an action-oriented response to this call from our church leaders.” On January 29, a gunman entered a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers and killed six men, injuring several more.

The event included a tour of the mosque, learning the Five Pillars of Islam, and tasting homemade treats. The women were able to choose a hijab (head scarf), have it fitted properly by one of the women from the mosque, and take it home as a gift.

“Overall the experience was really amazing and eye-opening,” said Brin Schat, one of the youth group members. She said it was a good reminder that except for different beliefs, the people she encountered were no different than her: “I don’t understand why people are afraid of people who aren’t like them when they don’t know them.”

The youth group also presented a card painted by one of their peer leaders, and signed by members of the group and other Jubilee parishioners: “We pray for your peace and safety.”

Schat said, “It was really fun seeing the reactions of people when we were there. I think that the people who were in charge were excited to see such a large group from our church.”

World Hijab Day, February 1, fell on a regular meeting night for the youth group. They gathered at Jubilee Fellowship CRC and met for prayer before taking the eight-minute drive to the mosque. They plan a follow-up debriefing session in the coming weeks.

Bilkis Al-Haddad, founder of Qamer Foundation and organizer of the St. Catharines event for two years running, said the turnout this year was double that of 2016.

About the Author

Alissa Vernon is the news editor for The Banner.

See comments (2)


Sura 15 - Al-Hijr (MAKKA) : Verse 42

"Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghâwun (Mushrikûn and those who go astray, criminals, polytheists, and evil-doers)

Sura 37 - As-Saaffat (MAKKA) : Verse 82

Then We drowned the others (disbelievers and polytheists).

Sura 2 - Al-Baqara (MADINA) : Verse 132

And this (submission to Allâh, Islâm) was enjoined by Ibrâhim (Abraham) upon his sons and by Ya'qûb (Jacob), (saying), "O my sons! Allâh has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except in the Faith of Islâm (as Muslims - Islâmic Monotheism)."

Sura 4 - An-Nisa (MADINA) : Verse 157

And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allâh," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Īsā (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) A.S.]:

Our Reformed forefathers would be ashamed to see that the heirs of the Reformed faith are sympathizers with Muslims who deny the Trinity, Incarnation, Sonship of Jesus Christ, and persecute Christians and Jews. To fellowship with a people who have killed fellow Christians throughout the ages and still kill Christians to this day is a betrayal of the faith.

This is sowing of the seeds of religious confusion in the hearts of covenant youth and a betrayl of the Baptismal vows to raise the children in the faith. To put the symbol of female inferiority on the heads of young Christian girls is wrong. Don't the leaders of this church realize that women and girls in Islamic countries are killed, imprisoned, mutilated, denied school and divorced if they refuse to wear this so called "head scarf"? In Saudi Arabia school girls were forbidden to leave their burning building because they weren't wearing this supposedly innocent piece of head covering. 15 girls died on March 15, 2002.

How can the church and parents allow and encourage Christian youth to be led inot acceptance of a relgion of salvation by WORKS? A religion that divides God's good world into that which is Halal, permitted, and that which is forbidden, haram? This was a definite failure in church leadership. The elders and pastor of the church should be held to account for their supervision of what is being taught from the pulpit and their governance of the youth programs.

Is it going to be a common thing for Christian Reformed Church members to “fellowship” and “celebrate” with the Muslim community? In Guelph, Ontario the CRC did the same thing. 

This reminds me of what is written: Deu 12:30  Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

Can we serve two masters, Allah and God? They are not the same.


Even Paul warned against it.2Co 11:4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.