Wednesday, September 8, 2010

LDS Church And Community Of Christ Both Issue Statements Condemning Proposed Koran (Qur'an) Burning By Lunatic Pastor Terry Jones

The two leading restorationist Christian denominations both issued official statements on September 8th, 2010 condemning the intended burning of the Koran by "Pastor" Terry Jones, who in my opinion, can best be described as a lunatic, although according to this CBS News report, his actions are protected by the First Amendment. Unofficial LDS blogs weighing in on this include Faith Promoting Rumor and Mormon Mentality.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement:

“A key tenet of our faith is to accord everyone the freedom to worship as they choose. It is regrettable that anyone would regard the burning of any scriptural text as a legitimate form of protest or disagreement.”

And the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS), which evolved separately from the main body of Mormons who emigrated to Utah, issued this statement:

As a people who experienced religious persecution, we are alarmed by the growing tide of religious fear, intolerance, and violence evident throughout the world. We join our voices with other religious leaders to denounce any religious persecution and specifically anti-Muslim actions, such as Dove World Outreach Center in the USA, which plans to burn the Qur’an on September 11. Such attitudes, behaviors, and actions reflect hatred rather than Christ’s example of love; divide rather than break down walls that separate people; and ignore Christ’s call for his disciples to be peacemakers, ambassadors of reconciliation, and advocates for justice.

We challenge you to speak out against religious intolerance and actions that damage relationships and are contrary to Christ’s example of love and mutual respect. Led by the Holy Spirit, members and friends of Community of Christ must work with God and others to restore peace to creation and create communities of Christ’s peace and justice in our families and congregations and across villages, cities, tribes, and nations.


Terry Jones is the pastor of an outfit calling itself the Dove World Outreach Center. Its primary website is offline, but its Facebook page is still operational. Jones intends to carry out the Koran burning on September 11th from 6 P.M. until 9 P.M. at his church in Gainesville, Florida as a symbolic gesture to show that he considers Islam itself to be "of the devil". On September 8th, Jones reaffirmed his plans despite a national outcry against him, claiming that his intentions also received a lot of support. He added that a retired Green Beret has told him that the troops are behind him.

Jones has authored a book entitled "Islam Is Of The Devil"; a book review is available HERE. WESH Channel 2 also reveals more information about Dove World. Some of the 11,000 square feet of the church are used to house and sell furniture on the auction website eBay; the earnings from eBay go toward the church’s food pantry and to help those in need of clothing and furniture. The church also makes money through an academy at the outreach center. Students are charged $500 per semester and are promised to be trained in loyalty and discipline for all areas of life, according to the academy’s website. Students are cut off from society and must pack and ship items for the Jones’ eBay business without compensation. In addition, the Dove World Outreach Center may be in financial trouble. According to the real estate website, the church is for sale. The selling price was once $2.9 million, but the price has been reduced to $1.1 million for a “quick sale.”

Update September 9th: Pastor Terry Jones has now called off his campaign to burn the Koran. He claims that he gave up the plan in exchange for a deal to move a planned Islamic center and mosque away from New York's Ground Zero, although the imam planning the center quickly denied any such deal.

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