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WEA Head Calls Pat Robertson\'s Comments on Islam \'Counterproductive\' and \"Inflammatory\'

March 30, 2006

World Evangelical Alliance Head Calls Pat Robertson\'s Comments on Islam \'Counterproductive\' and "Inflammatory\'

Pat Robertson’s description of radical Muslims as “satanic” and “crazed fanatics” is not only counterproductive but is dangerous, Geoff Tunnicliffe, the International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, said on March 15.

“Making broad and inflammatory comments about Islam is not only counterproductive but also puts lives at risk,” Rev. Tunnicliffe said. “WEA is in many ways building bridges of understanding with many Muslim countries in the world. As a worldwide community of Christians in an era of instant global communication we must be concerned about how our words impact others.”

Tunnicliffe’s comments were made in response to Robertson’s remarks that radical Muslims are “motivated by demonic power,” during the March 13th edition of televangelist’s live news-and-talk program “The 700 Club.”

While acknowledging Robertson’s right to express his views, Tunnicliffe cautioned against the abuse of freedom and affirmed that the televangelist does not speak for all evangelicals.

“When well-known persons such as Mr. Robertson make public comments, it is assumed by many people around the world, those comments are representative of all evangelical Christians. This is simply not the case,” Tunnicliffe said.

The following is the full text of Geoff Tunnicliffe’s comments:

“The World Evangelical Alliance strongly supports the principle of freedom of speech. At the same time, while we believe people should be free to express what they believe, we long for a society in which people think hard before expressing ideas that are bound to cause deep offence. With the freedom of expression goes the responsibility of freedom.”

“When well-known persons such as Mr. Robertson make public comments, it is assumed by many people around the world, those comments are representative of all evangelical Christians. This is simply not the case.”

“Making broad and inflammatory comments about Islam is not only counterproductive but also puts lives at risk. WEA is in many ways building bridges of understanding with many Muslim countries in the world. As a worldwide community of Christians in an era of instant global communication we must be concerned about how our words impact others.”

“In a world of conflict and religious strife we must learn to work together in a spirit of mutual respect and a willingness to pursue peace. As Jesus taught us, we are ‘to love our neighbors as ourselves”

Contact Information:

Pauline Chang, Press Secretary

Pauline@worldevangelicalalliance.com

Direct: +[1] 202.223.7556

Sylvia Soon, Chief of Staff

Sylvia@worldevangelicalalliance.com

Direct: +[1] 604.838.3922

The World Evangelical Alliance is a global voice for evangelical Christians. The global network with origins in 1848 brings together seven regional and 127 national evangelical alliances, 104 international member organizations and six WEA commissions serving the worldwide church. Currently it is estimated there are 420 – 686 million evangelical Christians in the world.