(ACNS) Anglican leaders condemn burning of the Qur’an; Prayer offered

Anglican leaders have condemned the act of burning of the Qur’an on March 20 in Florida, United States. Bishop Alexander Malik of the Diocese of Lahore, Pakistan, said that “Such acts were in flagrant contradiction to the teaching of Christianity”¦ They were the manifestations of sick minds busy in spreading hatred, bigotry and unease in society.”

In Peshawar, Pakistan, Bishop Humphrey Peters noted that this was a “shameful act” performed “only to gain cheap popularity”. Bishop Peters was speaking at a press conference alongside members of a Peshawar based inter faith group ”˜Faith Friends’ at which colleagues from the Muslim, Sikh and Hindu communities also expressed their anger at the action.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Asia, England / UK, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Pakistan

25 comments on “(ACNS) Anglican leaders condemn burning of the Qur’an; Prayer offered

  1. Jon says:

    There is something vaguely queasy making about this story. Of course I’d agree that burning books of people who’s theological opinions bother you is a bad thing. On the other hand I can’t say it’s precisely an un-CHRISTIAN act to do so — the sin here is more a sin against charity and civility and (more to the point) the dogmas underlying a liberal democracy (which Muslims in the Middle East typically reject with great vehemence). Christianity can be consistent with those values but the values themselves are not themselves distinctively Christian. Christians living before 1700 (Protestants and Catholics alike) would have been baffled by the claim that they were being deeply unChristian by burning books and tracts written by opponents.

    The thing that REALLY unsettles the stomach here, in this news story, is the real message:

    “We call on our Muslim brothers and sisters to understand that no true Christian supports this outrageous action. We pray that none will be incited by this unholy and extremist act to retaliate with unholy violence on local Christian communities.”

    Translation (spoken in the squeaky voice of a high school geek about to have the *$*! knocked out of him by a group of football players):

    Guys….? Ummm…. guys??? PLEASE don’t hit me! I mean, I know it’s my fault if you do, cause of how I look and act. But whatever I said I dinna meant it. I’m SORRY. Pleaaaaaase don’t hit me!!!!

  2. Caedmon says:


  3. Robert Lundy says:

    What would the Anglican Communion “leaders” say about Gideon who cut down the Ashera poll and destroyed the alter of Baal?

  4. Caedmon says:

    Robert Lundy at 3:
    If their statements in that article are any indication, those “leaders” would clearly dismiss Gideon as “irreligious”, “unholy”, an “extremist” and a “fundamentalist”. What I found particularly interesting was the comment that the Quran burning was “in flagrant contradiction to the teaching of Christianity.” It seems to me that the Anglican Communion ought to address it’s own “flagrant contradictions to the teaching of Christianity” before it turns its critical sights on those it perceives in others. Something about motes and beams comes to mind.

  5. Katherine says:

    The bishops quoted in the excerpt are in Pakistan. One could expect them to condemn such activities, since they aware that the profound ignorance of many Pakistani Muslims may lead to violence against their people, who have no connection whatever to the people in Florida who burned Qur’ans (probably in English translation, so not even really Qur’ans).

    One could wish for condemnations of terrorist attacks from Islamists, or even from moderate Pakistani Muslims, but wrong thinking or fear mean that won’t happen.

  6. MichaelA says:

    I agree with the bishop’s condemnation of this act, whether or not I agree with his precise theological reasoning.

    Burning a Qu’ran accomplishes precisely nothing towards evangelism – not a single thing. But it does cause trouble for the ministry of christians living in muslim countries and may even endanger their lives. We who live safely in the west need to think carefully about that – approving a book burning costs us nothing at all, but it may cost our christian brothers and sisters in Pakistan a great deal.

  7. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. – Acts 19:19-20

  8. Cennydd13 says:

    This story sounds familiar…..like we’ve heard it before.

  9. MichaelA says:

    Sick & Tired,

    Great verse, wrong application.

    Note that it was not Paul and the other christians who burned the scrolls. What constituted the powerful witness was that the sorcerors themselves signified their rejection of what they believed.

    If this had been a case of former muslims burning the Q’ran, the verse you cited might have had some application.

    However, even then it doesn’t work. Acts 19 refers to magic scrolls. Sorcery is condemned in the strongest terms in the Old Testament, in a way that mere wrong belief is not.

    Hence why my comment stands: this burning of a Q’ran by christians in the USA does nothing at all for the gospel.

  10. Caedmon says:

    “this burning of a Q’ran by christians in the USA does nothing at all for the gospel.”

    Who said it had anything to do with the spread of the Gospel? I believe they were making a statement about the damnable religion of Islam. And for good or for ill, Americans have the right to draw cartoons of the “prophet” and to burn his execrable book. Does it endanger Christians living in Muslim countries? Perhaps, but the [i]jihadis[/i] have shown they don’t need much of an excuse at all to oppress and butcher Christians. Been doing it for over a millennium.

  11. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    9. MichaelA,

    Maybe it doesn’t…but maybe it does. At the very least, it is a witness that Christians reject the lie of Islam. BTW…how do you know that none of the folks burning the Koran were former Muslims? I don’t know either way.

    Islam is an evil wicked religion. I have no problem with citizens of the US burning the Islamic instruction book on hatred and murder against Christians. Let it be a memorial to all the Christians around the world that Muslims have slaughtered in the name of Allah this year.

    Have a look: http://www.persecution.com/

    Watch the scrolling toll of Muslim violence against Christians worldwide, then come back and talk about it.

  12. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    [blockquote]Pakistan: Christians Killed
    A group of armed Muslims opened fire on Christians at an open-air prayer meeting in Pakistan this week, killing two men. The shootings occurred during The Salvation Army Church’s annual church celebration and prayer meeting on March 21, 2011, at Hurr Camp, a colony of working-class Christians in Hyderabad.

    Uzbekistan: Christians Detained
    Six Christians leading a service at a nursing home on March 13 were detained by police and charged with resisting police orders and violating procedures for conducting a meeting. The Baptist Christians were leading Sunday worship at the “Kindness” nursing home in Ohangaron City when police raided the service in an “anti-terror operation.”

    Nigeria: Churches: Bomb Targets
    Two failed bomb attacks on churches in Jos, Nigeria, have magnified the fears of Christians in the region. On Sunday, March 20, a bomb exploded prematurely, killing three men who were carrying it toward two churches. The intended targets were worshipers at the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and the nearby Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN)

    Iran: Dismantle Evangelism
    Evidence of the Iranian government’s disdain for Christianity continues to mount. During a routine inspection of a bus at a border crossing recently, the office of Contraband Search and Seizure, along with members of the revolutionary guard, discovered two boxes containing 300 New Testaments each. The revolutionary guards seized the boxes and burned the Bibles.

    Turkey: Christians Despised
    Four years after the brutal murders of three Christians at a publishing house in Malatya, Turkey, attitudes toward Christians in Turkey have become even less favorable. According to a new report from the Turkish Association of Protestant Christians, the Christian minority in Turkey suffer discrimination, slander, personal attacks and attacks against churches on a daily basis.[/blockquote]

    Anyone notice a pattern? Gosh, it’s ALL MUSLIMS killing, torturing, and imprisoning Christians…and gee…it all happened BEFORE the burning of the Korans. Oh, and did you notice that Muslims have no problem with burning Bibles?

    Sorry, not buying what is being sold here. I have no problem with burning Korans given the context of Islamic attacks on Christians world wide. Muslims are filling the cup of wrath as they continue to harm the children of the living God. No tears for burnt Korans.

  13. Caedmon says:

    Thanks, Sick and Tired, for providing a bit of perspective.

  14. MichaelA says:

    Sick & Tired and Caedmon,

    I am sure it makes both of you feel better to see some Q’ran’s burnt. and I do agree that your feelings are very important.

    But since the burning of the Q’ran doesn’t accomplish a single positive thing, and since it may have an effect on Christians (regardless of whatever instances you can find of muslims persecuting christians going back to the 8th century) you actually have no reason to do it – except to make yourselves feel better. But I agree that that is very very important.

  15. Caedmon says:

    Spare us the sarcasm, MichaelA. This is all about the clash of civilizations Huntington wrote about. It is about the survival of the West. It is about standing firm and tall, like men, in the face of evil. Too bad you won’t stand with us.

  16. MichaelA says:


    I agree. That is why I cannot stand with you – in my opinion, your views will bring down the West and contribute to the triumph of Islam. You are entitled to hold your views of course, but I don’t want to be part of something that achieves such an end.

  17. libraryjim says:

    MichaelA, the point was not “oh, look, they did it so we don’t have to feel bad” the point was “When they do it, they cheer. It’s only when actions go against THEM that they demand an apology or they will do worse to us”. That’s the point.

    Burning a single copy of the Q’ran vs burning/bombing a church and killing the Christians who worship there. Which is the greater action that should be condemned?

    Jim E. <><

  18. Caedmon says:

    “That is why I cannot stand with you – in my opinion, your views will bring down the West and contribute to the triumph of Islam.”

    As opposed to what views, if you don’t mind my asking?

  19. MichaelA says:

    Libraryjim at #17 wrote,
    [blockquote] Burning a single copy of the Q’ran vs burning/bombing a church and killing the Christians who worship there. Which is the greater action that should be condemned? [/blockquote]
    Law students are taught in their first year that arson and murder are significantly more serious crimes than desecration of a religious object. They are all crimes of course, although in the parlance used in many common-law countries, the first two are felonies and the last is a misdemeanour.

    If you are not familiar with this area, there are probably short course on basic criminal law offered at a local community college or similar.

    Caedmon at #18, as opposed to any views you like.

  20. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    You know what MichaelA, you have inspired me. I think that I will now purchase a copy of the Koran and burn it. I hadn’t really thought about doing it myself…this was all just sort of academic until your comments moved me.


  21. Caedmon says:


  22. MichaelA says:

    Sick & Tired,

    Sure you will… Ho hum…

    In the event that you ever did actually do something (as opposed to talking about it) please post the links to the media reports so we can see it in all its glory.

  23. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    The Koran (Penguin Classics)
    by Anonymous

    Estimated delivery: Apr. 8, 2011 – Apr. 13, 2011
    “Thank you, your order has been placed.
    An e-mail confirmation has been sent to you.
    Order Number: 104-6185409-100xxxx”
    Amazon is a wonderful thing. Ho hum, yourself.

  24. MichaelA says:

    Yes, you have ordered a copy of the Q’ran, which means nothing at all.

    Many educated people already have one, but when you actually get one and then do something with it, and do it publicly (which is what this thread is all about) then do let us know. Until then, “ho-hum” is indeed all this is.

  25. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Actually, I ordered a “Koran”…that’s capital “K”, little “o”…well, you get the idea. Many really ignorant people have them and follow its teachings about butchering Christians and anyone else that won’t bow to Islam.