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For Christian priest, Quran is as dear as the Bible


Thiruvananthapuram : For 65-year-old priest G.S. Francis, the Holy Quran is as dear as the Holy Bible.

Church of South Indian (CSI) parish vicar Francis has been reading the Quran for an hour everyday during the fasting month of Ramzan for the past two decades.

“The Old Testament and the Quran are almost similar and I do read it every day for an hour during the month of Ramzan. In fact in the course of theology, the holy books of other religions like the Ramayana and Quran are taught,” he said.

“I learned theology at a seminary by attending a part-time course. It was in 1989 that I was ordained as a priest. The state government allowed me to don the cassock because I agreed to do the priestly duties as an honorary service,” he added.

Francis retired from the state government as deputy development commissioner in rural department a decade back and has been a priest in the church since then. The church is located at Thalassery in Kannur district.

He said during the month of Ramzan he fasts when he has no other duties to perform.

“It has become a practice for me ever since I became a priest to refer to religious books like Quran and Ramayana. This helps me to understand other religions. This reading helps me when I deliver messages in the church. One gets knowledge for preaching when one studies other religions because a comparative study is required and I am happy doing this,” Francis said.