Sacred spaces are just that – places such as churches, chapels and altars consecrated for the purpose of religious worship.

In fact there is actually a deconsecrating service that is conducted to allow the space to be used for non-religious purposes when the building is sold by an order.

And Lutheran sacred spaces are dedicated to the worship of God, as understood in the 2,000-year tradition of the Christian faith.

Lutherans do not go to such a space expecting to encounter praise and worship of Allah, the deity of those who worship according to Islam who recognize Mohammad as their prophet and reject Christ as the Messiah.

Those basic tenets have been thrust into confusion as German pastor Sieghard Wilm held a Muslim funeral within the sacred space of the protestant St. Pauli Church in Hamburg.

The funeral was not only for a Muslim, but one who left Germany and was killed fighting for ISIS, the Islamic terror force dedicated to subjugating all Christians to establish a caliphate of Muslim belief throughout the world.

Wilm made the decision to provide a Muslim funeral for a 17-year-old identified as “Florent,” who died fighting as a terrorist in Syria for a variety of reasons, one of which was to provide the young man’s mother, who is Christian, a church in which to mourn his death, rather than a mosque.

“We cannot deny this is a difficult situation,” Mr. Wilm said in response to critics. “I can tell you as a pastor at St. Pauli, that I have also laid to rest more killers. A man remains a man. Even a person who has offended against someone. Even such a man has relatives who mourn him.”

The seemingly Christian act of mercy and compassion has thrust Wilm into the midst of controversy in social and news media as the Lutheran church was used for a Muslim service.

Florent was apparently radicalized by Salafists after being reared as a Christian in Germany where Wilm knew him as a child and youth.

Wilm’s church also received widespread attention several years ago when it converted the nave into a migrant center for immigrants from African countries.


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