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National Council of Churches and its interfaith partners
express sadness over Islamophobia and mob violence


New York, April 5, 2011 -- The National Council of Churches expressed its "incredulity and sadness" today 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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

http://www.ncccusa.org/news/100811ramadanrespect.html

http://www.ncccusa.org/news/100901quran.html

http://www.ncccusa.org/news/100907interfaithpressconference.html 

http://www.ncccusa.org/news/MK.cordovamosque.html

http://www.ncccusa.org/news/110310shouldertoshoulder.html

http://www.ncccusa.org/news/110304muslimrally.html
http://www.ncccusa.org/news/110307timessquarerally.html
 



Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.


NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),
pjenks@ncccusa.org

 

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