An Open Letter to those pastors in the United States who plan to burn the Koran

December 18, 2017

Dear Colleagues, 

 

I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

As we approach the anniversary of the horrific events of 9/11, I would like to share in your sorrows as you remember this evil event. However, as a Christian brother with roots in the Middle East, I would humbly ask you to stop your plans to burn the Koran. 

 

Your actions are not in accordance with the Spirit of Jesus Christ. In my opinion, burning the Koran or any other book is uncivilized and inhuman. Instead of burning the Koran, try reading it in order to help you better understand your Muslim neighbours and start a conversation with them. If we continue to respond to hate with hate, i.e., an eye for an eye, then we truly have forgotten the real meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Your emotional actions represented by burning the Koran will indeed plant seeds of hate in many people’s hearts. If we are not careful, these seeds will turn into more atrocities like those of 9/11. Your actions are not based on the love of Jesus Christ. Instead, your actions more closely resemble to  hate and revenge. 

Both as a Christian and a sociologist, I remind you that history has proven that attempts to forbid a religion by fighting it and burning its books will result in that same religion becoming popular and more prevalent in society. This happened in the Roman Empire when Christians were persecuted. Additionally, in the Middle East, Christianity is currently being persecuted, but many still come to Christ. If you are not careful, Islam will become even more popular through your actions. I already have American friends who have turned to Islam. They once claimed to be Christian brothers but now choose to visit mosques.

 

Based on these reasons, I strongly oppose your plans to burn the Koran, and I sincerely hope that you will change your mind. As a follower of Christ, I will do all that I can to foster love and peace between Christians and Non-Christians, including Muslims. I do love them as I do you, and I pray that the Lord will forgive you for your ignorance in the event that you pursue your planned activities.

 

 

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© 2010-2019 by Samuel C. Lee

 

Samuel Lee (Ph.D.) is university lecturer, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT-VU), and director for Center for Theology of Migration, the educational program of Samen Kerk in Nederland at the FRT-VU. 

He is the founder of Foundation Academy of Amsterdam, offering higher education in liberal arts and humanities for migrants, refugees and persecuted minorities.

 

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