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within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

Abba Seraphim comments on “Burn a Koran” pastor

Asked to comment on the proposal by Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Church in Gainsville, Florida, to stage a Koran burning to mark the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, Abba Seraphim observed,

“This is not Christian behaviour and it is an offence to Christians because Pope Shenouda has taught us that remarks which offend the religious sensibilities of others are against Christ’s teachings. Whilst there are legitimate issues we might wish to raise with non-Christians we have to respect the religious beliefs of other people, even if we do not share them. The basis for any meaningful dialogue between faiths must be mutual respect. Nothing can be achieved by insults and this is a deliberate and calculated provocation, intended to offend. How can we reasonably express concerns about the treatment of Christians by Islamic extremists and expect the goodwill and support of Muslims in addressing our concerns, if we condone extremist behaviour among Christians. It it quite apparent that Pastor Jones speaks for himself or at the most a tiny extremist minority. He  does not enjoy the support of any mainstream Christian community and I trust that fair-minded Muslims will see that he is a publicity-seeking pariah whose actions most Christians and decent people utterly deplore.”


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