September 9, 2010
The CEO and Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, has issued a statement unequivocally rejecting the burning of the Qur’an.
The statement is in response to the plans of the Dove World Outreach Center, located in Gainesville, Florida, to burn copies of the Qur’an on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks this Saturday.
Dr Tunnicliffe says that the action represents a “grave misunderstanding” of the role of Christians in peace-building and goes against Scripture. He further warns that it will “hurt the feelings” of Muslims.
Dr Tunnicliffe has conveyed his feelings to the leader of the Dove World Outreach Center, Dr Terry Jones, in a conversation over the phone this week and has offered to meet with him and his congregation to discuss this volatile issue.
Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe’s statement can be read in full here:
“The WEA, on behalf of its member churches, Christian organisations and bodies, strongly condemns the Dove World Outreach Center’s plans to burn copies of the Qur’an. Such an act represents a grave misunderstanding of our role as Christians in building partnership and peace with our neighbors, may they be Muslims or adherents of other religions.
“As Christians we are called to love our neighbors, do good to them and build bridges of understanding and respect and, by so doing, demonstrate the character of our faith.
“Nowhere in our Christian scripture, nor in our tradition or the writings of leading theologians past and present, will you find a command or recommendation to go against other religions by committing acts of protest or carrying out the destruction of their scripture. In this case, the burning of the Qur’an will hurt the feelings of believers of the Islamic faith.
“We must take a strong stand against such actions, and ask that the global community remains of sober mind by ignoring the call of an individual who is surely misled by emotions and misconceptions.
“It is in everyone’s interest to remain calm and important that men and women of faith look to their scriptures for guidance in upholding good relations among people of all faiths so that we may live peacefully together today and long into the future.”
World Evangelical Alliance (WEA): World Evangelical Alliance is made up of 128 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate member organizations. The vision of WEA is to extend the Kingdom of God by making disciples of all nations and by Christ-centered transformation within society. WEA exists to foster Christian unity, to provide an identity, voice and platform for the 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.
Contact: WEA Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org