Chicago church pews removed to provide Muslim students place to pray

The 88-year old Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago has been permanently renovated at the direction of the school’s administration in order to accommodate Muslim students.

UC Bond Chapel

University of Chicago’s Bond Chapel before removal of pews.

A number of pews were removed from the chapel and became part of a Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s Kovler Atrium exhibit. A Chicago area NPR station, WBEZ, reported on the exhibit and noted that the pews were “removed in order to provide Muslim students a place to pray.”

Literature describing the exhibit referred to the gesture as a sign of religious tolerance.

“The pews were recently removed from the chapel in order to offer Muslim students a place to pray, a symbolic gesture of religious tolerance,” a Campus Reform report quotes the official description.

A University of Chicago spokesperson commented on the pews’ removal in an email to Campus Reform.

“The benches were removed… to make Bond Chapel a more appropriate comfortable space for its many uses: ceremonial, spiritual, and artistic,” said Susie Allen.

She added that the primary purpose for the change, however, was to commence a renovation to “accommodate the installation of a Baroque-style organ.”

The university’s Muslim Student Association welcomed the change, and announced in its own student guide that Friday prayers will be held in the chapel.

“Bond Chapel is where Friday prayers will be held once construction is over,” The Complete Muslim’s Guide to UChicago said.

“Insha’Allah, Jumuah prayer will be held in Bond Chapel every Friday this quarter,” reads another announcement on the MSA Chicago website.

On the one hand, the university’s move can be viewed as the desecration of an 88-year-old place of worship. On the other, it could be viewed as a lesson in religious tolerance to countries such as Saudi Arabia where Christian churches are forbidden.

There are two problems with the latter explanation.

One, I sincerely doubt that Muslim countries would take UC’s gesture as a lesson, but would more likely view it as a sign of Muslim domination.

Two, by removing the pews to make room for Muslim prayer, the university making less room for Christian prayer, which was the purpose in building the student chapel 88 years ago.

H/T Campus Reform

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • KB Cook

    so sad to see this, but it's been happening on the other continents for quite some time. The underground Christian church era is dawning in the USA unless we exercise our bill of rights! Use 'em or lose 'em.

  • C Franko

    Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

  • Michael Nappi

    show that Muslims are here to take over our country. The most intolerant group of people crying intolerance as they dig their filthy blood encrusted claws deeper into America, disrupting our way of life on their quest for world domination.

    • Gertrude Donchin Chi

      No one could have said this better.

      • Sam Page

        I could have.

  • Russ

    Isn't there a possibility that the pews wouldn't have to be removed if some Christian believers witnessed to them and they became followers of Jesus?

    • Kenneth Clark

      More likely that the Muslims would place names on a list of infadels for coversion or silencing.

  • Jo-An

    desecration of a Christian house of worship!! no other term for this. there is absolutely no excuse for this either! religious tolerance is pure hyperbole on the part of the administration. the pews (not benches) need to be returned. the chapel was dedicated to the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ & no other god. why is it that only Christians must make way for world religions, when these other religions only chose to desecrate and destroy that which is Christian??

    • Kenneth Clark

      This is very similar to what Muslims did on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

  • Arthur Olsen

    This wrong for these people to take over a school. Lets bring in the Bible and the Ten Commandments Have it put in frount of the school.

  • http://msn earlene leonard

    they are desecrating a church with their false beliefs and no mosque would EVER allow a christian in the door but suckers like the U S allow anything to appease.every body so we lose all our culture for theirs…

  • joe

    Jesus never taught religous tolerence but only showing love to others and treating other as you would treat yourself. The Bond church is no longer a place of worship for Christianity. Everyone should realize in Christianity the church is the people not the building.

  • They Have A Lot To L

    Religious tolerance would be muslims finding a space that doesn't belong to another religios entity for their prayer space. A mosque doesn't belong in the middle of a museum exhibit.

    No tolerance for intolerance ~ No apology for being free

  • Doug Hanks

    If it's cheaper than building an entire new place of worship then it's a great idea.