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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. Philip777

    Just a way to show all Christians don't think that way. I'm sure the vast majority of Christians in the world, and even in America, are against this horrendous and completely anti-Christian initiative, we can prove it if this group reaches more members than the International Burn a Koran Day page. Please join.

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=142891872396094&ref=ts

    We won't burn a Koran, because Jesus wouldn't have done it !!!

    Muslims are also welcome, if they want to discuss in a respectful way (but all agressive/disrespectful posts will be deleted, no matter who posts them).

    My way to spell Islam : I Sincerely Love All Muslims

    Regards,

    Philip from France

    August 4, 2010 at 5:08 am |
  2. Allah takes the responsbilty of quran

    I am very thanks full to RICKS he kicks that asswhole on CNN, muslim belive and respects all prophets of allah same as muhammad (PBUH) and also muslim respect the all 3 holly books... I wanna tell the media stop him to do tht,,, AND THE MUSLIMS NOT GONNA BE TOLERATE THAT

    August 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  3. lovelyme

    Islam will spread regardless. Burning the Quran will not stop it there is millions of people who know the Quran by hurt so it want stop the message may ALLAH bless their little souls. The word Quran mean recitation it was remembered and recited before gathered as a holy book. People really have know idea about Islam their are many Christian preachers that has converted to Islam maybe ALLAH will convert this man and excuse him for his lack of knowledge which I calls ignorance.

    August 2, 2010 at 2:59 am |
    • lovelyme

      I meant heart not hurt! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 2, 2010 at 3:18 am |
    • DangerMouse

      There is no Islam. It is a lie.

      August 2, 2010 at 3:42 am |
    • derrick

      Jesus: I have left you with this commandment. That you love one another as I have loved you.

      Muhammad: One of you is not a believer (in God) until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  4. DangerMouse

    So one group of fraudsters...denounces another group of fraudsters...for burning a third group of fraudster's crib notes...on how to defraud their particular herd of suckers...for the express purpose of misleading their own suckers into bringing more suckers over to their control and influence.

    As a disclaimer, I will grant that some of these fraudsters will also be suckers in their own personal fashion,...and that this helps provide that all-important "ring of sincerity" in their voices and arguments when it comes time to "prod the herd."

    Truth is more important and useful than lies and foolishness. By all means, burn every so-called "holy" book in the world. They are tools used for criminal purposes, that is to say, fraud (among other things).
    Why do we allow the world's religions to create lies and use those lies against other people?
    If only we could burn the lies and destroy them forever. Suddenly our "freedom of religion" has acquired a distinct smell, and it's not one of sanctity, let me tell you...

    August 2, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  5. Peter F

    The Jesus I've come to know through reading the New Testament is a Jesus of love and compassion. He reached out to people who were different from himself and welcomed them with open arms. Consider the Samaritans for example. Christ, a Jew from the southern kingdom, was not a backer of the Samaritan distortion of Judaism... but did he harass the woman at the well in John 4? Did he threaten her most sacred possessions? Did he try to create animosity? No, he spoke to her in love and truth, offering her the most precious thing imaginable. Come on Christians! That is how we should be acting here... (and everywhere else). STOP FOOLING AROUND!

    August 1, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  6. Akram Ahmad

    Dear, Muslim not burn your holly books.....Muslim have great religious thinks.......we are peace fully doing every thing..

    Check the history.....You start violation against muslim (first)....
    If you want peace than dont disturb the muslims..ok ...Thanks...

    August 1, 2010 at 4:08 am |
    • peace2all

      @Akram Ahmad

      I respect your sentiment. Lets all religions not burn flags or holy books that just will cause more, and more hatred.

      We all should be trying to find peace and respect so we all can get along on earth in peace and harmony. I think that is the intention of all religions.... Do you agree...?

      Peace to you.....

      August 1, 2010 at 4:15 am |
  7. Hadi

    it is shameful to read comments from mostly those parts of the world where literacy is around 100%. I always thought being literate will inculcate tolerance, kindness and consideration towards each other. If the sex scandals in the church are not considered to be the complete depiction of bible than why is the case different for Islam. I have numerous examples where people do alot bad things,but they are never racially mentioned as if some christian, hindu or jew has done it, then y is the case different for muslims.
    I think with acts like the ones the church is planning, it will only add oil to fire and will eventual force more moderates muslims to join ranks of the extremists. I have never heard of any cartoon, comic or drama being either displayed, originated or patronized in any islamic state that is considered offensive to other religion. This is because of the holy book Quran which teaches us to be tolerant and ever forgiving. I am sure most of the commentiators here have not even read quran at all.
    I reckon instead of doing acts that would fuel the hatred, the root cause should be found and taken care off, as no human on this plant wants to harm another human and no religion teaches hatred.

    August 1, 2010 at 1:00 am |
    • peace2all

      @Hadi

      Well said..... understanding, tolerance, coexistence, respect despite philosophical differences will ultimately lead(hopefully) to peace, harmony, love for the human race.

      Peace to you....

      August 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  8. peace2all

    I would hope that someone with some sanity would make a stand as to just how rediculous this is.... I am not for the 'fundies' and their beliefs at all, but glad to see that they are recognizing this as absurd.

    Peace...

    July 31, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  9. zahralp

    omg this crazy

    July 31, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  10. verify

    Burning books in this day and age (we'll print more) is only an act of hostility by bullies. It's the old, "My imaginary super being is better than your imaginary super being... so I'm gonna break your toys."

    July 31, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  11. earthbound

    I will plan on being there – armed with as many fire extinguishers as I can get my hands on. Doesn't anybody remember that Muslims also died on 9/11? As an atheist, I view both Christianity and Islam as pretty much the same; people that believe in ANY kind of supernatural powers terrify me! I will try to put out the flames, burning books is just plain wrong! What do these imbeciles think to accomplish by such a disrespectful display of intolerance?

    July 31, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      World peace?

      August 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  12. ruth

    acts 19-19...Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all [men]:
    WOW... The apostles approved book burning of satan's doctrines..
    Muslims don't burn books, they burn churches with Christians locked inside...The idiots posing as Christians today would have commended Herod and the pharisees who conspired to kill Jesus..Same difference today..
    The only ray of light in today's insanity is, the reaper has come to remove the tares from Christ's church.. Currently they are holding hands with muslims and upholding the doctrine of demons koran that ensures their death or conversion..and ultimately their removal from Christ's church..

    July 31, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Gee, Ruth, maybe you should switch to decaf? I'm just sayin...

      August 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • peace2all

      @David Johnson

      LOL!!!!!!
      O.K..... you have officially taken over as top comedian on the blog , besides your insightful thoughts..

      I hope that you are well brother...!

      Peace....

      August 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • derrick

      Where is the love, people? Religion, all religion, languishes in ignorance if it does not teach love. We are the ONLY objects of our faiths. The great words from God (Allah, Yahway, Braman Atman,et al.) are nothing if they do not teach us about ourselves. It's time for some humility here.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  13. David Johnson

    I think a good bonfire, fueled by ALL the religious books of the world, is a fine idea.

    July 31, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  14. Nonimus

    I agree with NAE's denunciation of this, but not for the same reasons.
    First, burning any book is idiotic as it encourages willful ignorance. Books should be respected and not just religious books.
    Second, this is a publicity stunt and should be discouraged as such. Unfortunately the denunciation is also publicity.

    Third, and maybe most importantly this is very disrespectful of the nearly 3000 people of different faiths that lost there lives on Sept. 11, 2001. By attempting to co-opt the day as a demonstration of "Christian faith", it lessens the memory of the victims.

    July 31, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  15. Gary

    No reason to burn any books Bibles,Qurans,Harry potter series and all other Science fiction books are fun to read no reason to burn any book unless its child pornagraphy

    July 31, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  16. Haris

    A real Muslim would never burn a Bible or a Torah.

    July 30, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
    • jonathan

      and burning a bible or Torah will not hurt a real Christian if you do...we have copies 🙂

      July 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • Reality

      Yes they would. Scroll up.

      July 31, 2010 at 12:08 am |
    • Nonimus

      Some might argue that a "real Christian" wouldn't burn the Quran.

      July 31, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • Peter F

      Not that this justifies any actions, but doesn't the Islamic community consider the Bible (Old and New Testaments) important and inspired Scriptures?

      I know for a fact that Christians do not see the Koran in the same light.

      August 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • dutchblitz1

      Muslims do see the Torah and Bible as important, but corrupted, Scriptures.

      August 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  17. Allen

    I'm disgusted! A Muslim would never burn the Bible. Why would a Christian do the same?
    This is not the right way to do things. If you want to talk to people invite them to your Churches and have peaceful conferences between both religions. This so wrong and would only create more heat. This would make the Muslim's in America more isolated and will not share anything with anyone.

    July 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
    • Reality

      News Flash- 2006- Australia : Muslim Students Urinate, Spit On Then Burn Bible

      Uh oh, does this mean the worlds 2 billion Christians are gonna start rioting in the streets and calling for the blood of Muslims to be spilled? Hmmm probably not, but I'm sure the MSM will report this at and make it front page headlines for a month just like the Koran desecrations :

      TWO Muslim students have been expelled from an Islamic school in Melbourne for urinating and spitting on a Bible and setting it on fire.

      The explosive incident has forced the East Preston Islamic College to call in a senior imam to tell its 650 Muslim students that the Bible and Christianity must be respected.

      Anxious teachers at the school have also petitioned principal Shaheem Doutie, expressing "grave concern" about an "inculcation of hatred and radical attitudes towards non-Muslims" at the school, including towards non-Muslim teachers.

      Google "Muslims bible burning" to get all said references about Muslims burning the biblen but note that once the "bowers" of Islam see how they have been conned by their imams and ayatollahs for the last 1400 years, they too will burn their copies of the koran i.e. The angel Gabriel never existed so there is no way that the warmongering, womanizing, and hallucinating Mohammed got any koranic passages from some god. Tis the great angelic con game. Joe Smith was the latest to pull it off with his "angelic" Moroni. The significant stupidity and gullibility of it all!!!!!

      July 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  18. Fayrouz

    A Muslim would never burn the Bible, but apparently some Christians are willing to burn the Quran. Who is the one conducting the radical act here? What will they benefit from by burning the Quran? They will only make their church-going community racist, uneducated, and radical. The Quran and the Bible have many similarities and common grounds. If you're burning the Quran, you're also burning your own Bible and the flames will continue to burn long after it is over.

    July 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • I aM

      Moslem is burning and even make the book prohibited or Haram....

      July 30, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • jonathan

      burning a quran is symbolic of hatred for the religion of the quran...I understand hatred for the muslim religion..it is after all a perversion of Christianity just like Catholism and most denominations of Christianity...The Church that is doing this is letting you know they haven't forgotten what happened on 9/11..

      .Islam after all is a religion of hatred...<<<<now these words are more powerful than burning a quran..because they're true...but one can get another copy of the quran anytime..

      July 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • dizzy

      Hey Jonathon: Catholicism sorta pioneered the whole Christianity thing. Crusades, the Inquisition, and running the Western world for a while. St. Peter (Simon Peter, "the rock upon which I will build my Church", you know the guy) was the original Pope. You can't call Catholicism "perverted Christianity". You also can't call it the correct form of Christianity. Luther got some of it right when he called for a reformation of the Church. He also got some of it wrong. Every form of Christianity is flawed, because who interpret are flawed as all humans are. The same is true for Islam. A small portion of people read the Quran and find violence and hatred it. The problem is that these are the only people we hear about. There are millions of peaceful Muslims out there just as embarrassed of the extremists as most Christians are of the Westboro Baptist Church.

      July 31, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • dutchblitz1

      Foyrouz- In 2002, Muslims who took hostages in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem used the Bibles as toilet paper during the standoff.

      Neither is the right thing to do. I am saying neither side is without fault.

      August 2, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • sara

      If this goes through on September 11 they have started a war against God due to the fact that they are or will try to burn his words. If any natural calamities befall them for instance a hurracain etc they have nobody but themselves to blame. However I pray that these natural calamities only fall on the people who have done wrong not the rest of the innocent people in Florida and Allah is the all knowing.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  19. Claire M.

    Well, I agree with them that destruction of property is not the answer, and I'm a non-theist. I also understand the frustration of those who endlessly read of the human rights atrocities committed in the name of Islam, and who have to watch it spread to their neighborhood at the same time it works through its own dark ages. Of course, the book-burning is one of those things that energizes the like-minded, but it also will attract a violent and probably deadly response. Hundreds of people were killed by Islamists because of a cartoon, for gosh sakes. But I value freedom of speech, and if they want to do this, it's their right. So-called Islamic moderates do much worse, teaching children to chant "death to America" in public schools, so I guess this is one of those times Hegel describes, where the extremes have to work it out

    July 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • David Johnson

      As an atheist I feel compelled to point out to both sides, that their religions aren't worth the matches. Besides, most Muslims have memorized the Quran. Most Christians don't even bother to read theirs.

      August 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • Shakir

      There is nothing called extremist Muslims or moderate Muslims, there is only practicing and non-practicing, so i dont know how u all come out with these philosophical terms, Moreover, I see you state that in Muslim countries in Public schools, kid chant "Death to America", I as a muslim will say this is wrong, but you have to look at the context, at what context are they chanting, like I can say a judge and a killer are both murderers but if put into context, a judge sentences death to give justice but a killer murders for his personal issues. So the kids chanting because these American soldiers are destroying their house and killing their family and making them orphans and homeless, do they have food to eat like you and me, a house to live, air to breathe, to live a dream, NO......And trust me all this is political, this has nothing to do with the common citizens, you guys blame us for 9/11 and say Saddam is terrorists, Answer me a question, if they could find Saddam in 2 years why does it take 10 years to find Osama??, this is all political, 75 professors from the U.S have testified that 9/11 is a pre-planned action and thats true, our Muslims died in there too. And these professors were fired from their job, I think the guy who wants to burn the Qur'an has something personal against the Muslims, or after 10 years how did this thought prevail him to revenge 9/11?? And even for the sake of arguement If i agree that Saddam and Osama are terrorist, is it justification to kill the people, the pregnant woman, the children and make them homeless and shatter their dreams and lives, so u will kill an entire nation for a political drama, is that right?? is that justice?? we are always patient and true I totally oppose those muslims who bomb subways and trains bcoz its killin us the common citizens who go to 9-5 shift to work for their family, they think its to shake the government but do the government care? of course not, 13 mn ppl in US were 8mn is employed, if they cut tax as $10/week, they can build back tracks and subways in 1 year, it only affects us, the common citizens...but in the context of killing their nation totally if they bomb our subway we call them terrorist..huh, who spreads terror, is it Muslims, No, ofcourse not.....You have to change first to bring in a change, Look at palestine, Iraq, Chechnya, Afghanistan, look how they live making ground as beds and clouds as blankets and you all still blame them. No muslim is perfect, but we strive to be, we follow our religion, God forbade us pork, we dont eat it, But Christians, In the book of Deutronomy, in Bible, God forbade you but you still eat it, we dont discriminate you that, your priests commit peodophelia and you all dont stop what is wrong!! what if tomorrow ur son or daughter is the victim, who creates corruption, You or us?? Christians woman are supposed to dress like how a nun dresses and thats also stated in the bible in the book of Deutronomy but u guys dont follow and when we follow our dress code, u guys mock at us and call us backward people, who's at fault you or us?? I respect you as much as I would respect my Muslim fellow, I'm sorry if i was rude to you in any way, Please forgive me but I justed wanted to provide an overview, A message from A Muslim!!! I would like to end with a simple question for you, We never disrespect Jesus like how u guys do bcoz he's our prophet but you disrespect our prophet (pbuh), but I'll just ask you that only man dies but not god or angels so if Jesus was a God , how come he be crucified?? and why can't no priest answer the question if the evolution of Holy Trinity??

      August 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  20. Daniel

    Weak! Why, less than 500 years ago, the Roman Catholic Church was burning actual Muslims!

    Okay – that was sarcastic. I think that the NAE should be doing a whole lot less tut-tutting and a whole lot more stepping up to the plate to clear up ignorant misconceptions regarding Islam, and to make American Muslims understand themselves to be valued by and welcome within our robust and diverse republic.

    July 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • Red

      Why is it the NAE's job to educate people about misconceptions regarding Islam? They are a Christian organization. Shouldn't you be saying that a Muslim group should be stepping up and doing that? The NAE is denouncing what a group under their umbrella is doing. It's not their job to educate people on other religions, only theirs.

      July 31, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • sdia

      They would burn the holy quran book..but how would they burn millions of people who has quran in their hearts all over the world!! This wont stop people accepting the true religion from all over the world...May Almighty Allah guide you in the right path. There will be a day of judgement....

      August 6, 2010 at 3:50 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.