Nation of Islam's Farrakhan speaks at Mississippi church

Posted: Friday, November 08, 2002

TCHULA, Miss. (AP) -- Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan told about 1,000 people at a Sunday church dedication that American blacks should unite, regardless of religion.

''I'm trying to wake you up to what religion is all about,'' he said. ''The church is about healing.''

Pastor Eddie Carthan of Good Samaritan Ecumenical Church, who was Tchula's first black mayor, said he invited Farrakhan to emphasize unity among faiths and inspire youths in the impoverished Mississippi Delta.

Carthan said some area Christians criticized his invitation to Farrakhan, who is also a controversial figure among Muslims.

''He is a Muslim and I respect that. I am a Christian and he respects that. We've got different doctrines but we've got one God,'' Carthan said.

Farrakhan previously supported Carthan, who resigned as mayor in 1981 and was convicted of assaulting a police officer but later acquitted of plotting to kill a political rival.

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