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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)
  1. zaphod

    What you believers, all of you, fail to realize. Is that it is your religion that is the dangerous aspect of your beliefs. If you truly believe in eternal he'll and damnation it is your duty to save the infidels and non believers at any cost including holy war, burnings and anything else that will keep your fellow men from burning for all eternity. That is if you really buy all that nonsense. Do you or don't you? I suspect deep down you know it is mind contolling hogwash. Least I hope so.

    Religion is killing us and it is time to put it where it belongs in the category of fairy tale.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:38 am |
    • Abel Arce

      Religion is internal, politics, the rest...

      September 13, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • Roger

      Spirituality is internal, religion is politics...

      September 13, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  2. das0522

    Maybe they can wave the American flag everytime it's burned by some dirtbag in a Muslim capitol

    September 13, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  3. das

    Reading Quran in Church ... that is Love .... that is what our Lord Jesus Christ taught us. Praise the Lord our God. Lord is one.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  4. razor

    Interfaith is BS...there is only one way Its not Islam, Buddhism or any other pagan religious system. If you do not believe that God sent his son to this world to redeem the mankind for thier sin, through his sacrifice of death on the cross and reserection, then you are lost...without hope.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • Roger

      Where are you getting this? From a book that says this? Exodus 21:20 "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property."

      September 13, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • shellyD

      Boy, you are all eaten up by your imaginary friend, aren't you?

      September 13, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • ImLook'nUp

      Yeah, I'm gonna stand behind Jesus, too.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • Chihuahuapirate

      @razor.....and people like you will be the complete cause of the end of human civilization here on this planet. Your intolerance and ignorance are absolutely abhorrent!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Russ

      all books written by ignorant bronze age goat herders... they're no even current fiction.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • GodFollower

      Someday every person will bow down and acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. Why is it so hard for people to understand the truth? Please read Romans 1:18-23

      September 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • John

      The Bible says that God is real
      The Bible is true because God inspired it
      The Bible says that God is real
      The Bible is true because God inspired it

      Classic circular logic right there. "God is everything the Bible says he is because the Bible was written by God"

      September 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • SomeTruth

      GodFollower

      "Someday every person will bow down and acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. Why is it so hard for people to understand the truth? Please read Romans 1:18-23"

      Saul of Tarsus was one of the first PR geniuses. Intentionally deceptive or deluded zealotry and evangelism? I'm not sure which.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  5. Abel Arce

    After all, we are all human beigns, and life is too short to hate...

    September 13, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  6. Andy

    I'm a Catholic, but if you have some spare time, read the books from Buddhism.
    Should be much better than Quran. You might get some learning and inspiration about life and universe.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  7. tpaine1

    The Spirit is strong in Gainesville, Florida. To those who think being a Christian means everyone else must be wrong, remember that "in My Father's house are many mansions." Abraham is the patriarch of three religions, and Christ is recognized as a prophet by Muslims. The extremism that results in terrorism is not a true representation of what is written in the Qu'ran, anymore than the Inquisition was a true representation of the New Testament. The first Europeans who came here came for freedom of religion. On that and other principles of freedom a great nation was founded. Every time we try to legislate or diminish others' life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, we are tearing down that nation. Perhaps our true purpose during our lives on earth is to learn to overcome our fear and intolerance of those who are different and to live in peace.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:34 am |
    • james

      the quote is 'In my fathers house is many rooms' from the words of Jesus, neither Christian or Judaism content that Islam is from the root of Abraham. that line comes from the Islam its self. they proclaim to be the branch. which has as much evidence as Jesus existing does.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  8. Waleed Elbashier

    What do you think all these religions invite for, after all? They preach for doing good, and forbidding bad, and to be the best human possible. Religious people can gather in a middle ground away from all their worship houses and start presenting the best in their books in terms of verses read directly from those books.
    But fanatics always get it twisted.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  9. james

    SO when will they be adding the book of Mormon to readings?

    September 13, 2010 at 10:33 am |
    • sol

      Right after Walt Disney Productions

      September 13, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • peace2all

      @james

      After they add the book of 'Dianetics' by L.Ron and Scientology...

      Peace....

      September 13, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  10. George

    I was going to join Islam, but they wanted me to pray during my favorite show.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  11. jochamac

    @peace2all
    Get off of your high horse.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • peace2all

      @jochamac

      You said..."Get off your high horse" I am 'very' curious as to your perspective on me being on 'my high horse'......

      But, I have to say the view is really quite nice.... tolerant, respectful, understanding, loving and peacemaking.....And you....@jochamac....?

      Peace.....

      September 13, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  12. lex

    In the past, individuals and the media have dumped on Christians and Jews. The world accepted that "blasphemy"and life went on., and no one was threateened or killed.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Moslems can also accept this practice. Yeah, its wrong to burn another religion's sacred book or dump on a religion's sacred figures. But you don't kill people in response.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • Clarifying

      But, it's not Muslims who are doing the killing. It's crazies acting in the name of Islam. Islam believes in the same 10 commandments the other religions do, yet these people kill anyone who disagrees with them, including other Muslims. Mohammed never said that they should throw acid in the faces of schoolgirls trying to go to school, yet they do it because is suits their political agenda.

      Don't blame Islam or the Koran for folks murdering in God's name. Christianity and Judaism have had their share of that too.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  13. don

    American Christians, in general (and this is a very broad brush stroke), are ignorant to the historical significance of their own faith as well as all of the other faiths in the world. They are also ignorant to the cultural significance of Islam to those in the Middle East. For an excellent brief read on Islam, pick up Karen Armstrong's "Islam: A Short History", then read Laurence Wright's "The Looming Tower". Then, go out and get to know and work with a Muslim from the Middle East. Then, re-read and acquaint oneself with American History and history of how America came to be. It's interesting to me, that after ~235 years of existence, America is one of the only countries in the history of mankind to avoid religious strife. Seems to me that it is God's country....no matter what our faiths are....

    September 13, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  14. DebST

    TBUBB, your comment just proves that religion is responsible for more division than unification and that most religions, while overtly claiming tolerance, inadvertently inculcate intolerance, hatred and phobia of all other teachings. The fundamental tenets of each of the major faiths are peace and tolerance and these lessons always get lost when someone claims their "god", their "religion" is the only "right" one, the only way to god, the only way to salvation. Christians are the most guilty of this betrayal of their own faith.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • Aubr

      Jesus said he's the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the father but through him. Whether you agree or disagree with that statement, that leaves little room for interpretation. Either a) he's right and that is the only way, or b) he's wrong and the correct way is some other way (religious or not).
      I can deal with someone saying the way I follow is wrong and we can start an understanding and a dialogue from there. If someone says no one is right or wrong, then that's just nonsensical and leaves no place to go. I think the real issue is that people don't want to dialogue when it comes to beliefs, they either fight (or burn books) or give up.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:55 am |
    • DebST

      AubR
      The problem with your message is that what Jesus actually said is not known to any of us. His "words" were written down in Greek and Hebrew hundreds of years after he died and then translated by a bunch of people who all had agendas. What he may have intended people around him to understand is that the only way to salvation was to live like him, by his creed (he was a Jew remember) and through his teachings of peace, equality and forgiveness. Christians don't own the way to God and the Jesus that I believe in did not wish to exclude those who called God by a different name. Rather, he wanted to include everyone who lived by a set of principles and committments that promoted human potential for peace and forgiveness.

      September 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
    • UncommonSense

      Your comments seem among the most balanced and informed. Most commenters here haven't even read the Quran OR the Bible. Most Christians know next to nothing about the history of their professed religion or its holy book. Most people are only knowledgeable about what was conveniently shown or told to them. Jesus is NOT God and never claimed to be. It is merely his WAY that is the way to God. His WAY of living, his WAY of remembering God, his WAY of viewing mankind, etc.
      He was a true Prophet of God and if you follow his WAY, you have a chance at Gods grace. The final decision with every soul is with God alone. He makes the decision for each of us. Our people (Americans) know very little detail about anything that that did not orginate with us or Europe. As the first revealed words of God in the Quran state " READ!"...people, read!. Become informed BEFORE you form an opinion.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  15. JT

    So, the three Abrahamic religions are monotheistic and they all worship the same god. That's their conclusion? She says the Quaran says all religions equally provide salvation. I'm glad that all religious differences are now resolved and can now merge as one.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • John

      There are many different paths up the mountain.

      Better hope so anyway, because if only one specific religious faction has it right, then a whole lot more have it wrong, and there'd be no way of knowing until its too late. I have to think any deity capable of creating the endless wonder and beauty and variety of the world would not be as rigid and dogmatic as fundamentalist Christians or Muslims make It out to be.

      The Abrahamic religions have some significant difference, but they're largely traditional. Judaism seems to focus on the relationship between the Chosen People and God, Christianity focuses on Salvation and Damnation, while Islam focuses on living life on Earth in accordance with God's guidelines. But all three are about a relationship between the individual and the God of Abraham.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  16. Cody B

    Religion statrs wars

    September 13, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • kanon

      No. Ignorance STARTS wars.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • peace2all

      @kanon

      And..... a lot and even maybe the majority of 'ignorance' that starts these wars are religion based.... or have some kind of religious based rhetoric to them.

      Peace....

      September 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Peter F

      @peace2all

      Based in anything, ignorance creates division and conflict.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Peter F

      True..very true..... And..... undeniably, 'most' of the atrocities over the last several thousand years ....even today, have usually 'some' Religious based theme to it.

      Peace.....

      September 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  17. peace2all

    After reading the article, I can't help but come away with some hope that there may be some inter-faith understanding and healing that will come out of all of this hatred and bitterness. At least...... for some.

    I hope that the rest of America will follow suit on some level and continue to remember that hatred, bigotry and intolerance in general does not bring on more peace, but understanding, learning, and ositive communication will bring on more Peace...!

    This was great to see..

    Peace.....

    September 13, 2010 at 9:48 am |
    • American Man

      I am going to buy a copy of this book and burn it tonight.

      3000+ innocent Americans died on 911 and many more since the USA took the offensive against the radical muslims. If you are a muslim in American and object to burning a book or publishing a picture of your prophet – leave this country for a more tolerant society – if you can find one, otherwise, shut your mouth and enjoy the freedom provided in this nation.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
    • Frogist

      @peace2all: That was my take on it too. It was like a light at the end of the tunnel. People can really make the effort to coexist.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ American man. "Shut your mouth and enjoy the freedom..." LOL! Dude, you make all american men look bad.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  18. Luke

    Will she be reading the ancient texts of Greece and Rome? These gods were worshiped for centuries by millions and certainly warrant some mention, no?

    September 13, 2010 at 9:38 am |
    • Really

      Your name is "Luke"!!!, Why should she?? Judaism, Christianity and Islam all Monotheistic, Roman and Greek God(s) is not! and dead since centuries.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • David M.

      First of all, there aren't many people in America who worship ancient Greek and Roman deities so including those texts would be a bit nonsensical. Second of all, the three religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have two key points of common ground: each is a monotheistic religion and each is a Abrahamic faith. And in fact, these commonalities were the focus of the passages read from each holy book at these services. I haven't yet seen or heard anything about degrading relations between worshippers of Zues/Jupiter and followers of YHWH or Allah, so let's cross that bridge when we come to it.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • peace2all

      @Really & @David M

      New to the 'belief blogs'...? I think, my friend Luke just may have 'got' a few of ya'....

      Peace......

      September 13, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Luke

      I'm pretty sure both of you just walked into my trap and likely have no idea what sort of swamp your into now. Surely you see the connection between dead gods of yesteryear and the currently worshipped god of the bible, Yahweh? As people's knowledge continues to grow, Yahweh too will die off in favor of new gods. It's only a matter of time. You are merely living in a time during this god's thriving time. Yahweh will be replaced eventually, just like every other single god of the past. And what does my name have to do with anything? My mom thought it sounded cool and was unique. She was making no reference to the Luke of the biblical texts.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Tevii

      @Luke Well said. Its all nonsense. How clearly everyone can see the gods of yesteryear are fictional, but they believe in the current fiction. Weird

      September 13, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Luke

      Tevii – Well, not everyone. Religion is mostly a factor of geography. Even more so than intelligence from a correlation standpoint. However, the tribal groups that pray to the great ZuZu at the bottom of the sea don't think much of the God of Abraham. Neither do the Cargo Cults in the S. Pacific (google them – very interesting stuff).

      September 13, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • Joshua

      Luke

      If you were half as smart as you pretend to be you would realize the belief in Yahweh predates Roman and Greek mythology. So Im not sure how you try to paint him as the God flavor of the present time . Nice try though.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • Luke

      Joshua – Who said anything about timing? And how is that relevant to the point I am making? Explain yourself. The fact remains that other gods have come and gone. There are, strangely enough, people that believe in Poseidon. My personal favorite is Pan the Goat God. Have you ever heard of Cargo Cults? I suggest you read up.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Luke

      And yet another falls into the deadly 'trap' of Sir Luke... 🙂

      Peace....

      September 13, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • Joshua

      "Surely you see the connection between dead gods of yesteryear and the currently worshipped god of the bible, Yahweh? As people's knowledge continues to grow, Yahweh too will die off in favor of new gods."

      Seems like my reply was very relevant to this. Your post suggest that other gods will replace Yahweh, just as Yahweh replaced Greek and Roman gods. My point was how is it that Yahweh replaced Greek and Roman gods when he predates them? I'm not sure how I can explain this anymore to you. Maybe its easier for you to dance around this issue and pretend it has nothing to do with what you are talking about. It seems that you are the one trapped in your own logic.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Luke

      Joshua – No, that is completely off base. The Greek and Roman gods were widely popular and coincide with the origins of believe in Yahweh. The exact timing of which arose first is still debated, but irrelvant. Yahweh, nevertheless, is only the most popular now because of the expansion of Christianity by the sword. Prior to Christianity, we had paganism, which was conquered. In fact, many Christian traditions were stolen from the pagans including Christmas, which arose from the Winter Solstice traditions and Pagan worship of trees. And most importantly, the gods of Mount Olympus were much more widely worshiped in their time. The reason why we reject them now is because science has shown us that a god upon a chariot of fire does not indeed light the sun each day and killing virgins does not impact the weather and has no relation to this year's crops. In relation to the bible, science has continually disproven claims of the bible, therefore nullifying literally hundreds of claims and prophesies (prophecy in itself is physically impossible). In time, albeit that time is unknown, we will fully reject the claims of Yahweh and move our attention elsewhere; hopefully before we kill ourselves. By the way, your arrogance stinks. Calm down have a discussion.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • John

      My gods are all from the Slavic pagan pantheon, does that count? Perun and Veles, endlessly battling through the wheel of the year, bringing the rain and the thunder, minding the crops and the cattle. I've also got a totem animal and I spend a bit of time in meditation... being a neopagan is great!

      September 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • John

      David, Joshua, John, Luke, we got us a regular Bible right here

      September 13, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • Joshua

      Hey pot ...Im kettle. It was the stench of your own arrogance that drew my first reply. By the way I dont celebrate Christmas.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Frogist

    Thank you Rev Reimer and all those who participated in reading the Quran for their congregations. And thanks also to him for saying the same thing Imam Rauf has been saying. Out of all that bitterness and distrust came a sense of community and understanding. Kinda gives me hope for humankind.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:33 am |
    • peace2all

      @Frogist

      Hi Frogist..! Very well said.. Nice Post...

      Peace....

      September 13, 2010 at 9:39 am |
    • MomOf2

      Well said. I'm so encouraged by this coming together and acceptance and embracing of differences. I am less worried about my children's future. I am an athiest, but want my children to know of all religions and make their own choices. I am hoping that the world press gives as much attention to gatherings such as this as they did to the hate monger who was going to burn a muslim holy book.

      September 13, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • .

      I will be thankful when the Mosques read and quote scripture from the bible. Then we will see if the olive branch was accepted.

      September 13, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • Frogist

      @peace2all: Thanks! I appreciate that coming from you.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  20. tbubb

    I understand that this is an affirmative action taken in response to the ignorant Florida pastor's threat to burn the Quran... however, if you are a Christian then you must believe that the Quran is misleading/full of falsehoods. You don't go to church to have a lesson in interfaith or multiculturalism–you go to encounter and experience Truth. I wouldn't say it's wrong to read a Quran in church, but I'm just very, very surprised.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:28 am |
    • Luke

      And certainly you understand that those that attend Synagogue think you are all wrong too? And those that go to mosques to pray know that you have it all wrong too. And then there's people like me that laugh and are completely dumbstruck that most of the human population has been indoctrinated, unable to break free.

      September 13, 2010 at 9:40 am |
    • peace2all

      @tbubb

      And..... yes, there are christian churches that are, I imagine, just a little bit more positively progressive and see a bigger picture here. That we are all one on this earth and need to get along..... regardless of religious beliefs.

      Even most of you evangelical fundies know that deep down in that ol' heart of yours..... 🙂

      Peace.....

      September 13, 2010 at 9:54 am |
    • dogma

      These things are for sure though that this "ignorant Florida pastor's" intention has exposed the fear christians live in today and their so called act of tollerence in the church has misrepresented Christ whom they are supposed to serve.Another thing it has done is to reveal spiritual wimpishness because of a lack of understanding of spiritual matters. Sure they have a lot of understanding of religious protocol.....but spiritual matters is a zero with them.True Christians need to shed all their religious ideologies and begin to start getting spiritual understanding.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • peace2all

      @tbubb

      And.... as you said ..."You don't go to church to have a lesson in interfaith or multi-culturalism-you go to encounter and experience (truth)."

      And under the 'umbrella' of Truth in a christian church, isn't it about 'love your neighbor as yourself'...? heard that somewhere...? Isn't part of .....Truth learning that very lesson of understanding and respecting others, eventhough you may not hold or share all of the same beliefs. You do share 'some' beliefs in the bible and Qur'an....

      So, I assert that you being....."very, very surprised" is a very, very good thing...! May you continue to be surprised in positive and enlightening ways more often, and continue to be more open, and tolerant and learning more about the world including science...... which I am guessing you might benefit from....maybe..

      Peace to you....

      September 13, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • peace2all

      @dogma

      Wow.... so much 'tunnel vision' there, my friend. I am guessing from your posting that you are just not getting the 'bigger picture' here.

      As you fundies like to say......"WWJD.? What would Jesus do...? Do you think that JC would have told off all of the christians for engaging in an act of tolerance and understanding that may help to bring about more peace in the world...? Or... do you think that JC would have demanded that everyone stop this 'tolerance' and 'peace' non-sense and get back to 'worshiping' him.....?

      Hmmmmm my thinking is the former.... I am going with the peace and tolerance thing vs. the worship me thing.

      And you....? @Dogma...?

      Peace....

      September 13, 2010 at 10:09 am |
    • All the muslim ladies (as song by Beyonce)

      Says who? You? And YOUR individual interpretation of the bible because that is not mine. The problem with faith & religion is everyone thinks they are right and that they have the right to correct one another because they are so adamant they're way is the correct way. Until the ego of of the faithful fades into the ether, these culture clashes will never cease.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:20 am |
    • Doug

      THE UCoC is a cult and is not accepted by any Christian denomenation as being anything other than a cult. Not surprised...will pray for them.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • grafixer

      Any Christian understands that Christianity, Judaism and Islam were all born out of the same base – Abraham. With that said, it is entirely appropriate for Christians to read from the other books. It is also inappropriate to say that other books are "full of falsehoods." Remember, there was a time when man thought the earth was flat, and all revolved around it. Mankind's current religions seem to be still stuck in that mindset – that all revolves around what one individual's religion states. They all came from the same place. They are all the same "god". Wake up. Grow Up. Educate yourself. Don't say things about other books unless you have read them. Also, read your Christian Bible. It has some pretty extreme and violent things in it as well. Frankly, mankind should have grown beyond all of this by now. Faith is within, and personal. No one has the right to degrade another's beliefs. This country was founded on that very principal.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • California Dreamer

      It does seem odd that any religion that professes there is but one God, and that He created heaven and earth, all the stars, all the animals, and all the people can say there is a wrong way to pray. We were all created by the same God, are all loved by the same God, all die and are delivered to the same God. Unless you believe now that there is more than one God, how can there be a wrong way to pray? Religion is politics, not the path to God. An all-loving God loves everybody the same, no matter how you pray or live your life.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:30 am |
    • CNN=Corporate America's propoganda arm

      This one's simple: there is no god.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • Craig from LA

      I disclose that I am a non-denominational Christian and that I have studied all the great faiths and agree with the Ba Hai tenent that speaks of the unity of God and religion; religion has been revealed progressively from the same One God who through different prophets, at different times through history, in different locations and for different cultures came to provide the teachings of God.

      The purpose of religion my friend is to foster an ever advancing of civilization which is continuous and never ending. As such, Divine revelation is progressive and continuous. It never ceases and is like rain, ever providing spiritual nourishment. It is necessary that the reality of Divinity with all its perfections and attributes should be manifest to all cultures and peoples.

      I close with a quote from the great prophet Mahatma Ghandi; All Religions are True: "I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian." (Young India: January 19, 1928)

      Amen

      September 13, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • peace2all

      @doug

      You said ...."The UCoC is a cult and is not accepted by (any christian denomination) as being anything other than a cult."

      Wow....Doug.... thank you for making it clear that (all other christian denominations) are intolerant and full of ignorance. They obviously wouldn't have participated in anything so peace building and tolerant as this...?

      Way to go UCoC...... If they are a 'cult'..... wow....then what is the rest of christianity....?

      Peace....

      September 13, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • shellyD

      @braveheart, guess what? The CHRISTIAN holy books demands that loyal worshipers kill and destroy unbelieivers. In fact, Psalms offers a SONG to that effect, even to the point of bashing the unbelievers' infants against the rocks! Ugly passages they are – and they are in YOUR holy book!

      September 13, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • logan

      "encounter and experience truth" BAHAHAHAHAHAHAH you are an idiot lol

      September 13, 2010 at 10:44 am |
    • DrWB

      CONGRATZ TO Larry Reimer... Someone FINALLY put a common thread to all this mess. We have different beliefs, however, we all have the same message regardless of our faith. Love thy neighbor as thy self. So, yes, we have more in common than in conflict.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:54 am |
    • Ruth

      Luke,

      There's noting wong with people disagreeing. It's when they start to get violent that we have a problem. Atheists and Jews don't go around blowing things up just because you said somehting disrespectful to them. A lot of Muslims do.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • Nineball

      tbubb

      this is the kind of brainless, ignorant, and uneducated ideals that makes all religious followers the biggest joke to the intelligent world. Your inability to compromise and comprehend the existence of other faiths is why the religious world has the issues it has. But what do you care? Christians don't even love their own faith anymore. It's a tool for them to proclaim themselves 'superior' to everyone else and that they should be held at a much higher standard then what christians consider "inferior peasants'.

      Until religious followers realize that their faith is nothing more than that, they will always be the joke of the intellectual world.

      September 13, 2010 at 11:00 am |
    • Luke

      Ruth, honey, did you sleep through the first 2000 years of Christianity's history? And I suppose those that kill abortion doctors, the Waco, TX disaster and the OK City Building Bombing were just "extremists"? Sound familiar, Ruth? Silly.

      September 13, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • peace2all

      @ruth

      Adding to what Luke mentioned........ Did you also sleep through the news a few months back where was it.....Michigan...? Forgive me if I don't have the exact place correct, but hundred's of Christian fanatics and extremist's were mobilizing with auto-matic weapons and were going to m*u*r*d*e*r hundreds of people.....and they were found out in the woods by the FBI as they were quoting and spouting off all kinds of quotes from that very friendly book of Revelations in your christian bible...

      The wing-nut extremist wacko's are not limited to any one particular faith.

      Just sayin'

      Peace....

      September 13, 2010 at 11:12 am |
    • Dillard

      Ok have YOU read the Quran? I can almost say with certainty that you haven't Because if you had you would know that EVERYONE IN THE BIBLE IS IN THE QURAN, the same stories and everything just told with different names or ARABIC names. Slightly different but not by much. So If the Quran is misleading and full falsehoods , so is the Bible. Oh and by the way I was Born and raised in the christian faith.

      September 13, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • Dan

      And the Bible isn't?

      September 13, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • Luke

      Dillard – This is only news to the religiously ignorant and ethnocentric. Those that have put even 3 hours of research into studying the holy texts knows that the Koran is mainly a rip off from the Old and New Testaments. Just goes to show ya..

      September 13, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • Rob

      And what "Truth" is that exactly? There's my side and there's your side; somewhere in between is "truth". If you go to church to encounter church, shouldn't you be open-minded? Nothing can keep one more ignorant than "contempt prior to investigation..."

      September 13, 2010 at 11:34 am |
    • lilly robins

      Did you know that there is a whole chapter on Virgin Mary in the Quran, and in Islam she is considered as the holiest women in history? Did you also know that they believe in Jesus and all his miracles, except that he is the son of God.
      We pray to the same God, all monolithic religions do. and All religions preach for peace and love. Never did their prophet say to kill anyone. They protected the christians tribes during times of war (if you know anything about history).
      Rule number one, to respect the people of the book (Torah, Bible and Quran). When you burn a Quran, you are disrespecting the people of the book, meaning you are burning all faiths. The Quran has chapters on all the prophets, from the Abraham to Moses, to Daniel, to Jesus, etc.
      If you say it is a book of lies, then you are saying the bible and the torah are book of lies.
      Educate yourself, before you speak ignorantly!

      September 13, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Stunned

      Doesn't anyone understand the actual goals of almost all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam? To convert others or destroy them. This is in human nature; it simply is manifested in the form of religion, which covers such atrocities with the name of God.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Ron in AZ

      THANK YOU VERY MUCH! This actually made me mad. I thought so; what now, read books from the satanic church also?? Being PC has gotten WAY out of control!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
    • Chihuahuapirate

      TBubb and others who believe like him,

      You are part of the reason there is no peace among us. Until you understand that your way is not the only way, we can never coexist peacefully. Those who think their religion is the only one that is perfect (from all religions, not just Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), those who are intolerant of others thoughts and beliefs, and those who are unwilling to allow another thought process to exist alongside their own, are the problems on this planet today.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • Jul

      Is it wrong when my Roman Catholic priest reads from the Old Testament?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Julie

      I'd say it's wrong...Jesus said, "No man cometh to the father but by me." Was Jesus just lying to us?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • she52

      The truth is as one sees it. To Muslims the Quran is the truth, as to Christians the Bible is the truth. Everyone believes that their faith is the truth. The point is accepting everyone no matter who they choose to worship. (Acceptance) to rule out division.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
    • tbubb

      @Chihuahuapirate

      To be a Christian is to believe that Christ is the only way.

      If you click on the fifth picture up at the top of this article, you see Simmons quoted as having said "the Quran affirms that all religions provide a path to salvation." You simply cannot be a Christian and go with the flow of this country's religious pluralism and relativism.

      I'm all for tolerance, and yes, I am doing what I can to learn about the theology and history of faiths other than my own. I have good friends on campus who are both muslim, christian, jewish, hindu and even a few who call themselves pagan. But it still surprises me to see a Quran being read in a Christian church during a service when the fundamental claim of the Christian religion is unavoidably exclusive. (most) Christians say Christ is God. All muslims (to the best of my knowledge) say that He is not. Call me ignorant. 😛

      September 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • ZarGoth

      OK– so let's all just stop reading ALLthe sky god nonsense forever & just grow up!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Jim

      That's exactly the opposite of teachings of Jesus. How can you call a holy book full of falsehoods? It's also like a history book, full of things that happened. If you say Qu'ran is falsehood, who is to say that Jesus being God's soon is true. Is it even scientifically possible?

      September 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • DavidH3

      Thank God for these pastors and reiligious leaders. The Truth of God does not require one to be ignorant or close-minded.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
    • Dan

      My silly, made-up religion is better than your silly, made-up religion!

      The pot calling the kettle black.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • JennyTX

      Thank you for re-affirming my decision not to go to church any more.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • JM

      FYI:The Quran says many times you have to believe in the Bible and Torah to be considered a Muslim, will u consider this one of your "Falsehoods"?

      September 13, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • ShutYoTrap

      Now these are the kind of people I want to see speaking out for their and other peoples religions. Not some ignorant a** with a handle bar mustache!

      September 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Paul

      The main problem with burning the Quran, which would also be true for the bible, the torah etc., is that it would contribute to global warming.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • LP

      @ tbubb – so if there are passages in the scriptures of all three religions that say the same thing (as seems to be the whole point here), you're still saying one is right and the other two are wrong? How does that work, exactly? Nobody here was asking people to convert or to believe everything that is written in the Torah, Bible, or Quran – they were pointing out how much these three tomes have in common. And from that, maybe folks with open minds can recognize that the people practicing these three religions also have a lot in common. Relax.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • ikantraed

      Don't give me this one god crap... Here, see for yourselves....

      youtube.com/watch?v=Ib9rofXQl6w

      September 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • Arglebargle

      Good is good, regardless of the source. The problems only arise when people think they are special and try to usurp God's position for themselves.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • Loggan44

      I think some churchs and temples are trying to do a nice thing. They are reading from various holy book's scriptures. They are trying to show we can all get along. Is that a bad thing? I think not. I disagree with some of the old testament rationale in the Holy Koran but they have a lot of passages of love and brotherhood. Yes, they want a muslim world but christians want a christian world, right? I am a Buddhist. We just want world peace. You can only accomplish that one person at a time. So, how about we all rally around this offering of brotherhood through reading verses and hopefully it will make some of the hard core muslims in the middle east step back and think a minute.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • 2sidetoeach

      Wow, it is amazing how religion and culture can still be such a mess in this day and age. The fact that the terrorist were Muslim does not account for the millions of other people that happen to be of the same faith! What if it was a bunch of Babists or Catholics etc who did the terrorizing? The terrorist happen to be of that faith, do not punish others for their cowardly deeds!! Muslims are not all the same either. Culture has a lot to do with it as well. Some need to hide their face others don't. That's a cultural thing NOT because of religion. If I understand correcltly quite a few people of the Muslim faith parrished in the 9/11 attacks as well, including firemen that were trying to save people. Why do so many people have tunnel vision and don't look at it from a few different angles? Do I have a problem with a mosque by ground zero? Hmm, conflicted on that one. The terrorists would see it as a victory, as in land conquered. The people that want to build the mosque there should have also known what controversy this would bring to most Americans and did not do them self or their religion a favor for making it such a big deal. Why so close knowing it would cause a lot of problems? We all have to use our heads here and weigh the consequenses of our actions. Just let nobody forget that a lot of different religions, cultures, people got affected by this, dead or alive. Why can people just not respect one another even if their believes happen to be different from theirs! Really, what your neighbor believes in is their business NOT yours but your still neighbors and you can still say goodmorning to them on your way to work! Now are their any other buildings of religion trying to build near ground zero? Because if that's the case everybody of any religion hurt or killed there should be able to do so including the people of Islam. Burning their books however in my humble opionion is childish and rediculous. You might as well start burning everybody's religious books just because you believe they are wrong. In the end we all will find out one way or another who was right or who was wrong or if any of us were wrong at all? Maybe the same God under a lot of different names? you do not have to be great friends but at least try to respect one another even when they are different and a little tollarance will go a long way too.....

      September 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • SomeTruth

      Julie

      "I'd say it's wrong...Jesus said, "No man cometh to the father but by me." Was Jesus just lying to us?"

      There are a few possibilities:

      1) He was lying.
      2) He was psychotic.
      3) He was misquoted.
      4) The quote was made up by the evangelists of the new religion.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • Ames Wolff

      That's what the Islam-apologists do with their "we are the world" beliefs. Islam; what a crock. Albeit a violent, militant one...but, nonetheless...a crock.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • Ralph

      Amen. I'm Eastern Orthodox Christian. This would never happen in our churches. I think the Protestants have gone way overboard with this religious diversity thing. While Christianity should teach lover and tolerance for those of other religions, that should never be construed as saying that other religions are morally equivalent to ours. While I understand the intent, all I can say is...shame on the pastor of this Church. I lay odds no Mulsims reciprocated.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • omar

      If you believe Quran is misleading/full of falsehoods, then you are 100 % wrong. I think you have not read the Quran yet because if you did, you will say wrong and misleading information. If you do not believe in God and have no religion, then you will be 100 % right. Find any quran from the world and compare to each other, you will find the same not even one world be different, and the same time find the Bible and compare, you will see differences between the two bibles. Quran is unique and says the truth about this world and the world after. This is the world of God and obvious god never says misleading or wrong information.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • MZH

      "people have more in common than they have in conflict" – that is the key phrase in this article.

      People can choose passages from Quran that they may agree with ... nobody is saying that they agree 100% with the other scripture. For example, Chapter 19 is about Mary (peace be upon her) http://quran.com/19. Do you think that there are no Christians who would agree with anything in that chapter?

      September 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • SomeTruth

      Omar:

      You must educate yourself about the Quran outside of your closed circle. One way - google, "Errors in Quran" and see what they have to say. Sure, some of the error findings are in themselves errors, but many are true.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • Just Saying

      If there is to be peace and understanding, exchange of knowledge, one spirit then perhaps Saudi Arabia would allow the construction of a Church of Christ in Mecca.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Gary

      Truth is a perspective. It's not about right and wrong that is also a perspective. The problem with the wold today is that everyone (Christians, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats and so on and so forth) thinks that they are right and everyone else is wrong. God is universal and does not belong to ANY one religion. Any religion that thinks it has got it all figured out is full of its self, if it did know everything it would be God! I believe God is part of everyone and everything, it connects us to each other, it's bigger then religion.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • mattkerr81

      You know nothing of even your own religion, all these books are telling the same story.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • HCC

      //if you are a Christian then you must believe that the Quran is misleading/full of falsehoods. //

      1. No more than our Bible.

      2. If you are an American Protestant, chances are you don't take kindly to other folks' telling you what you "must believe" as a Christian.

      September 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • remi

      I am the way the truth and the life, Yeshua said! there is no bigger picture, or that bigger picture is a lie.

      This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.

      Real beliver can`t mix with any other religion,

      All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

      It is suffiscient and we can`t mix with other faith because the are not G-d inspire

      September 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
    • A. S. David

      What I find interesting is how some Christians still don't get it that Muslims believe already in Isa (Jesus) and that their assumptions that we don't is part of the problem THEY have about accepting us as a faith community of "equal" value. They accept Torah (though it doesn't speak of Jesus) but are unwilling to accept Muslims or Quran, though Quran does acknowledge Jesus' birth & status as a Prophet sent by God. So can someone explain this Rationally? Other than a desire to devalue Jews for not "accepting" Jesus; but hating Muslims for not "accepting" Jesus. Christians are, in the eyes of Muslims sorta philosophically in the same boat, that Christians choose to place Jews..... Muslims see Christians as having strayed from the teachings given by God - and thus the "next" book (ie Quran) was sent. However, Christians are offended by this idea. Yet they never seem to consider their own justifications that the Iblece (new Testament) is seen by Jews in the same way... as being an "untruth". Sucks to be the one another sees as being "astray" from the truth, aint it? Nothing is "untruthful" about reading from Scriptures if the message is the same. If your argument is to be believed then why do you accept hearing sermons that focus on the teachings of Paul/Saul? He wasn't a prophet of God, nor lived during the time of Jesus...but HIS teachings are preached in Churches across this nation as if they are "equal" to those of Jesus. So how do you accept Paul's teachings though he was not of "the time" of Jesus or before Jesus? Isn't that a hypocracy?

      September 14, 2010 at 6:53 am |
    • Dani3l

      "...if you are a Christian then you must believe that the Quran is misleading/full of falsehoods." – Uh, NO. That is not an article of Christian faith. One can believe in the teachings and divinity of Jesus without denying that other religions have other approaches that bring them to the same conclusion: Love God, and love your neighbor. ANY faith that teaches these is propagating the message that Jesus brought. That "good Samaritan" in the parable was a member of a -hated religious minority-. Jesus found him virtuous, righteous. It is not what scripture you read that matters. It matters how you treat your fellow man.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:49 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.