Quran Burning Controversy Reveals Perilous Plight of Persecuted Christians Overseas
“The greatest tragedy is how persecuted Christians find themselves precariously at risk due to the offenses of one tiny Florida church.”
09/09/2010 Pakistan (Christian Newswire)-A Florida church planning to burn a copy of the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks is drawing criticism from Christian leaders who fear the act will endanger Christians overseas.
The Gainesville-based Dove World Outreach Center plans to destroy the Islamic holy book in a bonfire according to its pastor, Terry Jones, who says that Islam is “of the Devil”.
Christian leaders in Muslim-majority nations, including Pakistan Christian Congress president Nazir Bhatti, have appealed to the small Florida congregation’s leaders not to go ahead with the event. Bhatti said the Quran burning would provide radical Islamists with another excuse to attack already at-risk Christians in Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Mainline Protestant officials and other religious voices joined on September 7 in Washington, D.C. with the Islamic Society of North America to denounce the Florida church and the rise in “anti-Muslim bigotry” in America as evidenced by the threatened Quran burning and the opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque.
IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:
“It is unfortunate that the crude burning of the Quran is the most sophisticated critique of Islam that Jones and his congregation can offer. This seems less about contesting the truth claims of Islam and more about purposefully seeking to cause offense for its own sake.
“The greatest tragedy is how persecuted Christians find themselves precariously at risk due to the offenses of one tiny church, while American Christian leaders this week flocked to defend American Muslims from non-existent physical threats.