Pastor's Newspaper Ad Fans Religious Tensions In St. Cloud

June 2, 2010

Author: Ambar Espinoza

Source: Minnesota Public Radio

A pastor has upset Muslims and Christians with a paid newspaper advertisement that questions whether Islam threatens the United States.

Other religious leaders have criticized the advertisement as fearmongering. They say it has contributed to a tense climate in St. Cloud, which in recent months has struggled with racial and cultural tension.

Some Somali high school students complained white students harassed them, a white man posted anti-Muslim cartoons on telephone poles around town, and another man threatened on Craigslist to hurt Somalis at a local dance.

The Rev. Dennis Campbell, pastor of Granite City Baptist Church, runs the ad in the St. Cloud Times twice a month called, "Pastor, I have a question." A similar program airs on a local radio station every Sunday morning. He discusses a variety of issues from the Bible, such as salvation.