Methodist Church condemns loyalist anti-refugee rally
THE head of the Methodist Church has become the latest church leader to condemn a planned loyalist anti-refugee protest in Belfast.
Rev Brian Anderson said the Protestant Coalition rally, due to take place at Belfast City Hall on Saturday, should be called off.
"As a Christian leader, I am calling on the organisers, even at thislate date, to reverse their decision to hold this protest," he said.
He said Christian teaching calls on people to look after strangers, adding "and in accepting refugees into our country we are doing just that".
"Along with other right thinking people I utterly condemn the proposed protest meeting organised by 'The Protestant Coalition'," he said.
"What would Irish people seeking to escape the great Famine have done if people in the countries to which they went seeking a new beginning had told them to 'Go back we don't want you here' or how would America become the "melting pot "of nations if the Native Americans had refused them entry?"
Organisers of the rally have said the demonstration is being arranged "against the influx of refugees/terrorists coming to the shores of Northern Ireland/Ireland".
A counter-demonstration by anti-racism group Belfast Anti-Fascists is also due to take place, prompting fears of clashes.