The government of Iran publicly condemned the burning of the Quran by preacher Wayne Sapp on March 20, while, just months earlier, suspending Mohabat News in Iran for reporting that the Iranian government recently burned 600 Bibles. Fortunately, unlike Terry Jones’ threat to burn the Quran last September 11, Sapp received minimal media coverage in the U.S. Such actions have only increased the persecution of Christians worldwide.
By Paul Marshall
3/24/2011 Iran (National Review) – Iran’s official Fars news agency reports that the Iranian Foreign Ministry “strongly condemned the recent insult to the Muslims’ holy book in the US state of Florida, and warned that Washington attempts to spread Islamophobia in the world.” Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast condemned the “abhorrent” crime as “contributing to US hegemonic plots, which seek to create a rift between divine religions.”
The event in question occurred last Sunday, when preacher Wayne Sapp set fire to a copy of the Quran in Florida. Sapp is a member of the Dove World Outreach Center, headed by Pastor Terry Jones, who famously threatened to burn a Quran last September 11, and achieved short-lived fame.
NRO readers may remember that Iran recently suspended Mohabat News after it reported that the Iranian government itself had seized and burned 600 New Testaments in Salmas.
What’s the Farsi word for chutzpah?
Iran’s own Bible-burnings are only one part of its ongoing repression of Christians, Baha’is, Sufis, and others. Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that, in two weeks, five Iranian Christians, who were recently sentenced in Shiraz to one year’s imprisonment for “crimes against the Islamic Order,” will be tried for blasphemy.