By Colin Hart
Director, The Christian Institute
In today’s news there is confusion over whether Pastor Terry Jones of Florida in the US will go ahead with his planned burning of Korans on the anniversary of 9/11.
Whether he does or he doesn’t, his Koran-burning idea is wrong, provocative and dangerous.
Like many, I am concerned about the growing influence of militant Islam. I am concerned that a militant Islamic belief in political domination is a threat to the liberty of us all. But the answer isn’t the burning of books.
If copies of the Koran are burned by those who claim to be ‘Christian’, will this encourage Muslims to read and consider the Bible? Hardly.
It will almost certainly make it more dangerous for Christians living in Muslim-majority countries. And our brave servicemen serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will also be put at greater mortal risk.
The Bible tells Christians: live at peace with all men, as far as it depends upon you. In a democracy we can debate, we can protest, and we can seek to persuade. But we must not deliberately provoke anger or violence.
The Koran-burning idea is Mr Jones’ and he must take the blame for that. But the media has handed him a global megaphone, and they must take the blame for that. Given the media storm, it is understandable that President Obama and General Petraeus spoke out.
I have no doubt that there are elements within the secular media who are secretly delighted that a “Christian Pastor” has made such a monumental error of judgment.
Mr Jones is an obscure and eccentric Pastor from a small church in one corner of the US. Yet the media has given him a worldwide platform and hardly missed an opportunity to call him an “evangelical” Christian almost every time.
Well, let me be very clear. Mr Jones’ Koran-burning plan is not consistent with the evangelical Christian faith that I –- and millions around the world –- follow.