NCC and its interfaith partners express sadness over Islamophobia and mob violence

April 5, 2011

NEW YORK

The National Council of Churches (NCC) expressed its “incredulity and sadness” today (April 5) over the resurgence of anti-Islam activities marked by the burning of the Qur’an by the Rev. Terry Jones, and the reactionary mob attacks on Christians in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The NCC and its partners have condemned violence and discrimination against Christians in areas where they are a religious minority, and has also spoken out against Islamophobia in the U.S. and elsewhere.

"Frankly, it is with incredulity and sadness that we find ourselves reiterating these messages," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC general secretary.

Last month, Kinnamon and other church leaders participated in a rally in New York’s Times Square that affirmed religious freedom for all Americans, including Muslims. Participants raised placards declaring “Today, I am a Muslim, too” and urged all citizens to support Muslims as neighbors.

Kinnamon said it is likely that media coverage of Jones and his tiny congregation, self-styled as the Dove World Outreach Center, “has grossly exaggerated their significance and their influence on rational Americans.”

As extremist mobs seek to retaliate against Jones by attacking Christian churches in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kinnamon said he hoped media coverage “will take care to place him in the proper context. His hateful acts are clearly intended to call attention to himself and raise money for his church, but in the context of worldwide Christianity, his views are an aberration and his community a nonentity.”

The Dove center’s webpage offers caps and coffee cups proclaiming anti-Islam slogans and invites online contributions to the church. 

Earlier NCC statements supporting the rights and safety of Muslims, and deploring Jones’ actions and other acts of Islamophobia, can be found in the links below.

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