G.J. Rancourt, organizer of Prayerfest and The March For Jesus, holds an International Christian flag during a press conference in London on August 23, 2012.
Credits: CRAIG GLOVER/The London Free Press/QMI AGENCY
LONDON --More than 100 believers, many in red “Jesus is Lord” T-shirts, walked through the streets of London early Saturday singing hymns while ignoring the controversy that has dogged their leader through the past week.
G.J. Rancourt, the organizer of Prayer Fest and the March for Jesus, stood on the back of a pickup truck in a parking lot and urged the crowd to forget the “welcomed” controversy and think only of Jesus as they made their way to Victoria Park.
“It’s all about Jesus, there’s no question about that,” he said. “There are Lord Jesus T-shirts. The March for Jesus has nothing to do with me personally.”
He stressed that all Christians were welcome to participate, regardless of denomination, by forgetting their differences for a common cause. Rancourt told the crowd that comments attributed to him when he suggested Muslims who practise Sharia law should leave Canada, were taken out of context.
“If you go on my Facebook page now, you will see the full version (of the interview) from the steps of the Toronto School Board . . . If you listen to that, you’ll see what we’re talking about.”
The Christian Heritage Party, of which Rancourt is a member, has called for a moratorium on immigrants from Islamic countries that practise Sharia law.
One of the marchers held the international Christian flag, which was to fly at City Hall before officials there got wind of Rancourt’s comments about Muslims.
London Diocese Bishop Ronald Fabbro, clad in a red T-shirt himself, gave the opening blessing before the crowd began to march. He preferred to leave the controversy to others, though he admitted that it hasn’t been easy.
“The people here have come together to celebrate their faith in Jesus and also to give witness by their march the values that Jesus gives us. What’s been in the media has hurt that message,” he said.