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July 30th, 2010
04:14 PM ET

National Association of Evangelicals denounces church's Quran burning event

The National Association of Evangelicals, the nation's largest evangelical umbrella group, is urging a Florida church to call off a planned Quran burning scheduled for September 11. Here's the NAE's statement:

NAE Urges Cancellation of Planned Qu’ran Burning

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) encourages increased understanding and reconciliation between those of different faiths and backgrounds, and it laments efforts that work against a just and peaceful society. The plans recently announced by a Florida group to burn copies of the Qu’ran on September 11 show disrespect for our Muslim neighbors and would exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims throughout the world. The NAE urges the cancellation of the burning.

NAE President Leith Anderson said, “It sounds like the proposed Qu’ran burning is rooted in revenge. Yet the Bible says that Christians should ‘make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else’ (1 Thessalonians 5:15).”

In 1996 the NAE addressed religious persecution saying that “If people are to fulfill the obligations of conscience, history teaches the urgent need to foster respect and protection for the right of all persons to practice their faith.” [i] In the same resolution, the NAE pledged to “address religious persecution carried out by our Christian brothers and sisters whenever this occurs around the world.”

The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbors of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect. The proposed burning of Qu’rans would be profoundly offensive to Muslims worldwide, just as Christians would be insulted by the burning of Bibles. Such an act would escalate tensions between members of the two faiths in the United States and around the world.

“We have to recognize that fighting fire with fire only builds a bigger fire,” said Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Orlando, Fla., and member of the NAE Board of Directors. “Love is the water that will eventually quench the destruction.”

Anderson said, “The most powerful statement by the organizers of the planned September 11th bonfire would be to call it off in the name and love of Jesus Christ.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Florida • Islam • Quran

soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. shedeLetFek

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    April 10, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  2. Pseunnign

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    April 10, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  3. freddy

    queridos amigos aqui se puede denunciar los catolicos buscan nuetras vidas y piden y oran a una maria y a sus legiones de maria ahora en todo lugar abierto en el mundo solo abrimos escondeites y estos latinos catolicos y gente de usa se ponen de acuerdo para que no engendre tengo mi mujer si aparecer y asi engendro si les miento confiese yo y mi mujer que jesucristo ha venido hecho hombre

    July 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  4. Kay

    If you guys can't even stop abusing each other on a forum, I see no hope for the world.

    September 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  5. Mohammed

    YOU AMERICAN'S HAVE BETTER CANCEL THIS EVENT OR ITS GOING TO START ANOTHER WORLD WAR AGAINST MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS AND TO TELL THE TRUTH, WE ARE GOIN TO DESTROY THE EVIL PEOPLE IN AMERICAN SHOULD THIS HAPPEN... ALLAH HELP US ALL

    September 7, 2010 at 3:32 am |
  6. CG

    Why oh why in the world would people burn the Koran when there is a shortagge of toilet paper??? Homeless shelters, hospitals and other charitable oganizations could use this book for their visitors when they need to use the bathroom. Toilet paper is not cheap you know!

    August 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • NR

      CG 's upbringing & teachings reflect her cheap views of others belief...A total ignorance! Not worth it CG...buy. Also pls. no need of your ignorant reply, keep ur ignorance to urself..

      August 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  7. sapphire mia

    hey ye qho are u to burn the quaran HOW DARE U how would u like it if we burnt the bible and u were a christian u wouldnt reallyy and we are nva gunna even think about that what u are doing is DISCRIMINATION and RACISM give me all the excuses u would like but they are gunnam be my answers i dont know how u can even admit to TRYING TO BURN the most HOLY QUARAN

    August 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  8. Heba

    The JEWS planned 9/11. PERIOD. No wonder none of them showed up to work that day.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:06 am |
  9. Heba

    The Jews Planned 9/11. PERIOD. No wonder no Jew showed up to work that day. Hmmm??? Think about it

    August 26, 2010 at 1:03 am |
    • Kate

      @Heba

      One of the biggest problems regarding 9/11 is that no-one is capable of believing 19 people could have planned and carried out such an attack. So because they can't imagine how it could be done, the automatic assumption is it *had* to have been something "bigger" at work.

      Operators who've ever had stay-behind training know just how effective a small operation can be – and why it worked as well as it did, though.

      There was no global conspiracy – Judaism, Islam, OTO, the Illuminati, the Masons, or anyone else. It was a classic guerrilla attack that will be in the textbooks for decades to come, carried out by a small group of brainwashed saps under the orders of a megalomaniacal leader.

      Nothing more.

      August 26, 2010 at 1:11 am |
  10. Bobby

    Christian terrorists:

    The Sons of Freedom, a sect of Doukhobor anarchists, have protested nude, blown up power pylons, railroad bridges, and set fire to homes, often targeting their own property.

    Anti-Semitic Romanian Orthodox fascist movements in Romania, such as the Iron Guard and Lăncieri, were responsible for involvement in the Holocaust, Bucharest pogrom, and political murders during the 1930s.

    The Lord's Resistance Army, a cult guerrilla army engaged in an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government, has been accused of using child soldiers and committing numerous crimes against humanity; including massacres, abductions, mutilation, torture, rape, porters and sex slaves. It is led by Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself the spokesperson of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the Christian Holy Spirit which the Acholi believe can represent itself in many manifestations. LRA fighters wear rosary beads and recite passages from the Bible before battle.

    Beginning in the late nineteenth century, white supremacist Ku Klux Klan members in the Southern United States engaged in arson, beatings, cross burning, destruction of property, lynching, murder, rape, tar-and-feathering, and whipping against African Americans, Jews, Catholics and other social or ethnic minorities.

    And many more, so I think that we Christians have done much worse the the nation of Islam has ever done.

    August 20, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  11. Annie

    I'm a Christian from India living in FL (in Orlando) but this is horrible. I hate the idea of books being destroyed in general. But no one should destroy others' religious texts. I hope they stop this ridiculousness. There are radical people in EVERY religion or non-religion. That doesn't mean the religion as a whole is evil or that the people are all evil. This is not Jesus working in these people who call themselves Christian. Sorry. You're only as Christian as you do. This is exactly the kind of thing that fuels anti-Americanism.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • sapphire mia

      thank u for telling them off somebody has got to stop this cruelty

      August 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  12. munti

    if this actually goes through its going to cause alot of conflict which they are trying to stop anyway! it saddens me that people have come to this, to burn ones holy book just to take revenge. who ever thinks this is right burning of the book may allah have mercy on your souls!

    August 19, 2010 at 10:24 am |
    • Srta

      It is my pesulare to know that you have subscribed my blog. My most sincere thanks for helping me and found my articles are useful! – Sherin

      March 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  13. Questionmark

    You aithiests that post hate, bigotry, and all manner of filth, just because you don't believe in anything but yourselves....are you not just as bad as terrorists? Terrorism has many forms, you seem to be one of them. You beliittle and condemn, call people stupid and so on.
    I think you decieve yourselves, do you not know you are allowing yourselves to be used by Satan? Do you also know that he has you right in the palm of his hand?
    The biggest lie Satan will ever tell you is that he does not exist...he loves your fairytale world, makes his work easier.
    I sure would not want to be in your place on the day that WILL find you, if you don't change your ways. You will wind up in Hell someday IF you do not unharden your hearts before the one true God, Jesus Christ. I don"t care what you say back, I am telling you the truth so that IF and when that day comes for you, you will recall these words. Btw, this is not a judgement, but according to the words of the Creator himself, which some of you seem to love to put down. Much as you hate it, I will pray for you.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  14. Andy

    if this is revenge. then how come the NAE tell the muslims over seas to stop killing americans for revenge. cause holy bible and qu'ran believe in the same god. so they are one sided.

    August 13, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
    • franz karl becker

      Where did you get the false Idea that the Muslims god is the same as Christians? Jewish people and Christians share the same view of God. Islams god is not ours. In Islam Muhammad teaches by practice that you can marry a nine year old and rape her. This is carried on by modern Muslims in their countries which are not moral but hopefully not our civilized nations. We need to check that out. There God tells them to kill people who won't convert or make them pay money. Really!!!!
      Their god says Kill people if they want to leave the faith... their god says you can have four wives and then beat them if you want... Now get a brain does this sound like a good god? A real religion? No Islam is a Nazi style polical system supported by sex perverted men who want power over women to control them and make them sex slaves. See Muslim countries for details. Saudi women can not even ride in the front of a car and never with any one but a family member. Their goal is sarha law not the moral improvement of the planet.

      August 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Against Quran Burning

    umm ... this is not really the first time a quran is announced to be burned ... or is acctually burned
    its been burned alot of times before ... but whats the point
    we memorize it in our heart ... and ((Reality)) ... Angel Gabriel did exsist ... BTW ... ppl who say that are just
    acting lyk muslims but arent ... REAL MUSLIMS ... i knw these ppl ... so nxt time dnt state it as muslims k?
    n in the middle east churchs r build for alll christians to go to ... n if ppl burn them ... then i apologize for them
    ... n i want u to knw ... many mosques were burned, quran was spitted on or torn, etc.
    so ya think twice before posting a comment

    August 11, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  16. Knowledge Promotes Peace

    First, Muslims would never burn the Bible, becasue (as stated in the Quran) they believe that the Bible (albeit being changed throughout history many times by what Christians refer to as "inspired translations") is the word of God. In Fact, Mulsims consider the Torah, Psalms, and the vast majority of the bible (both old testament and new) to be of divine origin, handed down to various prophets. They consider all of these texts to be Sacred. So the question "How would Christians react if Muslims were to burn the Bible" is not even relevant or realistic.

    Secondly, TRUE Muslims may be offended or saddened by Dove Outreach Center's actions, but here is a more realistic summation of their perspective: Yes, the Quran is the final revelation of the message of God to Mankind. It is Sacred. Burning it represents an enormous sin.. But to Ascribe divinity to a Prophet (Jesus) is a sin of COLOSSAL proportions, that absolutely dwarfs the burning of the Quran by comparisson. In fact, the two acts may not even be comparable.

    Thirdly, (as also stated in the Quran,) God has promised to protect the Quran from corruption or destruction, until the day of judgement. Millions of Mulsims worldwide have memorized the entire quran. There are at least two copies of the quran still in existance from the time of the first caliphate, and they are protected as national treasures by the governments of the countries in which they reside. Yes it's a shame that some ignorant hateful people are burning a few copies of the Quran. Are Muslims charged with the duty of stopping them from burning copies which they obviosuly own? Absolutely not. Will Muslims be held accountable for the sins of these nonbelievers? Absolutely not.. God has promised to protect the Quran, and he has supreme power over all that exists..

    So.. Is it a disturbing practice? yes.. Does the behavior of various wierdo cults actually surprise anyone who has lived in this country for any period of time? It shouldnt. When a rattlesnake bites someone, are you surprised at the behavior of the snake? .

    August 7, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  17. Sabirah

    @ Shakir, I like what you had to say. The reason why a Muslim would not burn the Bible is because we read the Bible. We can only take from the Old Testiment and not the new because no prophet brought the New Testiment. As for those who want to burn the Quran, what a same it would be not knowing that there a chapters in there dedicated to Mary, Lot is one and a few others. We have the same prophets as anyone else. We just know that there is one more that Christians refuse to believe in. I feel sorry for the ones who do this because God is going to be very displeased. For instance, The city of Sin was destroyed (New Orleans) and i guess people still believe that it was science/eco system that was to blame. Me as a muslim. I am not upset one bit. I Find it funny that people would waste there money on people, that they calm they hate to burn one of Gods books. It is funny because the destruction that man puts on himself can only be blamed on himself.

    August 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.