Quran reading
September 13th, 2010
08:48 AM ET

Churches read from Quran in face of proposed Quran burning

Journalist Amy Zerba filed this report from Gainesville, Florida:

Rev. Larry Reimer says there's a simple message at the core of his faith: people have more in common than they have in conflict.

It's one reason he chose to have a passage from the Quran read at the United Church of Gainesville, part of the United Church of Christ, on Sunday.

And he wasn’t alone.

More than 20 religious leaders from Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds around Gainesville had the same Quran passage read - along with Christian and Hebrew scriptures–  at their congregations over the weekend. Local synagogues made it part of their Rosh Hashanah celebrations.

It was a sign of unity after weeks of talk by a Florida pastor who threatened to burn the Muslim holy book on 9-11 but who ultimately cancelled the event.

“It just seemed that the reading of Quran was the most affirmative thing we can do,” said Reimer, who has served at the United Church of Gainesville for 36 years. “You might say (we) befriended the Quran and brought it into everyone’s framework, everyone’s point of view.”

Reimer came up with the idea a few days after he learned of the planned Burn A Koran Day from worried parishioners. He approached local religious leaders to join him in reading common Hebrew, Christian and Muslim scriptures at their Sabbath services.

The response from the community was overwhelming positive, he said.

Shanna Johnson, 40, a member of the United Church of Gainesville, said the proposed Quran burning forced the Gainesville community to talk “rationally” with others about different faiths.

“The things that we have in common can really come out in this type of situation,” Johnson said.

Reimer plans to continue connections with clergy from other faiths. A group of religious leaders will meet in October in Gainesville to try to improve interfaith relations.

“My whole ministry, my whole faith is designed around the sense that we have much to learn from each other that we are a common family and that our division is not among religions but it is among fanatics and extremists on both sides that we have to overcome,” Reimer said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Florida • Houses of worship • Islam • Muslim • Quran • United States

soundoff (555 Responses)
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  5. Edgar

    Shame is the only word that comes to my mind. Wich are the so called churches?

    May 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
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    November 13, 2010 at 7:31 am |
  7. Peace be upon u

    Islam is not a religion it is th point between people and God, Islam was not created to be a religion that callenges other religions, it was created to worship God. If you worship one god and doing good deeds, then you are a moslim. Islam is an idea not a religion.
    BTW, (Original)Christianity was only made for childern of israel(jews) to guide them to the right way after they lost, Islam which is about the submitance to God was made by god for the whole world.

    September 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  8. Keith

    ttub says you go to church to get the TRUTH.
    What church does he go to? all you get in any church is FLIM FLAM and double talk, NOTHING that you hear from ANY church could ever be classed as the TRUTH in fact I would go so far as too say that what you hear in church are packs of LIES.

    September 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  9. BrotherSka

    The problem is that Christians and Muslims have been kept apart for the past 1,300 years because they were taught that there are irreconcilable differences between the Bible and the Qur’an.

    Those who have honestly studied the Bible and the Qur’an, report harmony between their principal teachings, without damaging the integrity of any verse or compromising any teaching in either book. Therefore, if Christians followed the Bible and Muslims followed the Qur’an, then there would be no theological differences between them, only cultural.

    For example, both the Bible and the Qur’an acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. Explicit and compelling evidence of this harmony is provided in Walter Phillips’ study, Brothers Kept Apart at BrothersKeptApart.com.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  10. Mike Malone

    How ignorant is this. Well I hope they read Sura 9:5-6, "An when the sacred months are passed, kill those who join other gods with God wherever ye shall find them; and seize them, besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush: but if they shall convert, and observe prayer, and pay the obligatory alms, then let them go on their way, for God is Gracious, Merciful."

    Be careful what you pray for.....

    God Bless Jesus Christ,

    Iowa Mike

    September 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Kate

      @Mike Malone

      Why do so many people quote inaccurately from a tainted sura?

      Just wonderin'

      September 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  11. rv87

    now the spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils,1 timothy 4,1 those times are definitly here

    September 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  12. Aaron

    54Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." John 8:54-56

    Reading the Quran in church is a mockery of Christianity, Jesus Christ is the unbegotten son of God, Islam refuses to recognize this, and took the Bible and Torah and shaped it into its own fashion.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • Judge ?

      First, i saw this after many months.
      Son, you are like those who quote something. OUT-OF-CONTEXT without even searching upon it. And then say that you have searched all.
      Just go and read the quran and UNDERSTAND it. Which totally doesn't mean that you are a muslim. Quran says "Peace is best solution than fight"
      Another place quran states "Those who kill are not amongst us"
      My prophet says "One who kills his ANGER and forgives is the bravest"
      And FYI : Quran is not mixture of any book. and it has never been changed since the first one written. And that book is still there protected by god and in perfect shape. It is only few people from any religion or must i say in reality they are not from any religion at all. It is your random anger towards muslims. Do you have a valid point. I can debate you whereever you want. Only if you open your mind and search and not be a nay. Muhammad said that ISSA is a prophet and Issa also said that MUHAMMAD is a prophet. And you have not read bible i guess and many others who kept saying that jesus is god's son ?
      Jesus himself have said this many times that he is not son of god. Actually if you show me or show yourself just one place where he claims DIVINITY ? Just one place.

      March 15, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  13. manyopinions

    Here's another opinion to the mix. For those who would bash Christianity because of what it did during the Dark Ages, I would just say if you read your Bible you'll realize they weren't following it. The first 400 years or so of Christianity has Christians historically marked as a genuine brotherhood of believers who cared for one another... it is after this point in time, once Christianity gained political favor, that all sorts of ridiculous ideas get incorporated into the faith. The Reformation was a direction back towards the original Biblical faith, not that it figured everything out.

    I'd also point out to the enlightened atheists who want to bash Christianity because of what it did during the Dark Ages, that atheism, in an age of enlightenment in the 20th century, probably resulted in more mass deaths than all of human history combined. Like it or not, Nazism, Communism, and Fascism (all components of WWII and the massive death that followed) were birthed out of a belief in naturalism as the only explanation for our existence and the unavoidable result that some races must be superior than others. Evolution allows no escape from that possibility despite what many try to say to the contrary.

    I accept the Bible because I find that the facts lead not to an understanding that only "15%" of the what Jesus said is actually what Jesus said, but rather, because the historical BIblical research actually suggests the opposite. The 15% by modern scholars is a view by the more publicized secular scholars who simply work from the premise that the Bible can't actually be a Divine revelation. Therefore, the 15% is an assumption, not a fact. It's based on a predisposition or paradigm that the Bible can't be what it claims to be. I don't accept such an approach as scholarship. The fact is the earliest fragments found verify the NT to be much what it is today. This is an old debate.

    Prophecies such as Daniel 2 (which secular scholars suggest was written around 200 BC) shows the rise and fall of the major world empires of the Middle East and Europe from Babylon, to Media Persia, to Greece, Rome, and then the division of Rome into it's separate kingdoms which became modern Europe. The text also says that the people of those kingdoms would make attempts to unite again, and even make efforts with intermarriage to accomplish such goals. History verifies this did in fact happen. Even a secular explanation of Daniel 2 can't explain that. The book of Daniel was found in the Dead Sea scrolls and as such, is at least as old as the time of Jesus, but many accept much older. The internal evidence of the book of Daniel and what he knows and writes about has been shown to be accurate and could not have been known to anyone unless they were living in Babylon at the time of it's empire. So I don't accept the secular scholars on that one either.

    And the Bible does not teach that those who don't follow it are to be destroyed by those who do. Sorry, a superficial reading of the Bible may give that impression in some places, but a fuller understanding of the text proves that is not the case in the least. Those who study the book the least are usually the ones who buy into that reasoning.

    As a Christian, I believe in complete and full toleration and acceptance of those who wish to believe otherwise. There are reasons I don't accept other religions that are based on intellectual grounds. I have no interest in following something without doing as much research as I can to understand the issues. That's why I don't buy into the atheist position... too many flaws on too many levels with that viewpoint as far as I'm concerned, and I realize people will disagree with me, and I'm fine with that. I work with people from many faiths and have no problems or issues that they don't believe what I do. The message of Jesus is one of love and respect to all no matter what their faith or lack of faith. And yet, the Bible also teaches that truth is found only in Him. That doesn't make me hate others. And any accusations to the contrary are only accusations which I simply reject.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  14. Mary

    Did I read in here that Jews and atheists don't go around blowing things up? I fully support the existence of Israel, but it would not exist today if it weren't for terrorism. If atheists had their own country, you would probably find some extremists there, too. Power corrupts. It's part of being human. That is why you will sometimes see good people in government making bad decisions.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  15. tom lewis

    The Catholic Church clergy would do anything, to continue watering down our church teaching for the sake of liberalism. Our Lords words mean little to them, simply watch them at the alters, communion in the hand, on and on.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  16. Nok

    Unfortunately many do not understand that Islam holds a kind of "chronological doctrine". That means that Mohammed's successive writings overwrite his previous teachings. He originally taught peace and tolerance before he became a warlord. Islamic doctrine has declared his earlier teachings as abrogated and therefore superceded with the teaching that all non-believers are to be killed. Islam believes that God can do anything – including a 180 degreee reversal in teaching. The trap is that Christians read such peace loving verses when he lived in peace among Christians. Then we he gained power and wealth everything changed to the contrary. Don't be the fool.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  17. Frank

    What about people who believe in many Gods and Goddesses (like me), or those who don't believe in any? We should all be respectful of each other's beliefs. To a point, of course. People should be allowed to say their piece about a religion, but be prepared to back it up! It's when we attack people in general that we have problems.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:22 am |
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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.