The Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend John Christie, has branded the planned burning of the Koran by the leader of a tiny evangelical U.S church on the anniversary of September 11 as “an extreme and unthinkable act.”
Speaking yesterday during the visit to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, Mr Christie said: “The news that a ‘Christian group’ is planning to burn copies of the Koran in Florida on September 11, is quite simply, an absolute outrage.
“This action, were it to be carried out, will be an offence to the memory of those of many faiths and none who lost their lives in the awful tragedy at the Twin Towers. It is an offence against the families of those who still grieve for those who died that day.”
Mr Christie warned that such an act by Rev Terry Jones will damage the work of the many who strive to build understanding among the faiths.
He said: “Should this group carry out its threat it may well be the catalyst for a significant, indiscriminate, reaction from Muslims for whom such an action will be offensive in the extreme. It is hard to underestimate the potential of there being very serious consequences for partner churches which are working in multi-faith societies around the globe. A representative of the Church of Pakistan has told me of his fears of reprisals against the Christian community in Pakistan should the burning of the Koran go ahead.
“It is to be hoped that this misguided group will reconsider its intention as a matter of urgency. There is no sense of either the Gospel of Grace or the Love of Christ in what is intended. I would strongly urge this group not to go through with such an extreme and unthinkable act.”
Contact: Nick Jury, Senior Media Relations Officer, Church of Scotland Communications Department on 0131 240 2268
Phone: 0131 240 2268