Bishop Tiny Muskens, from the southern diocese of Breda, told Dutch television on Monday ...
..."Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? ... What does God care what we call him? It is our problem."
A survey in the Netherlands' biggest-selling newspaper De Telegraaf on Wednesday found 92 percent of the more than 4,000 people polled disagreed with the bishop's view, which also drew ridicule.
"Sure. Let's call God Allah. Let's then call a church a mosque and pray five times a day. Ramadan sounds like fun," Welmoet Koppenhol wrote in a letter to the newspaper.
Gerrit de Fijter, chairman of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, told the paper he welcomed any attempt to "create more dialogue", but added: "Calling God 'Allah' does no justice to Western identity. I see no benefit in it."
A spokesman from the union of Moroccan mosques in Amsterdam said Muslims had not asked for such a gesture.