In its regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, September 10, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Advisory Council endorsed a statement condemning the plan by a Florida church to burn the Quran on Saturday, September 11, and encouraged Baptists to pray for peace and understanding among all religions.
Acting on behalf of the Fellowship’s governing Coordinating Council, the Advisory Council unanimously endorsed the statement, which reads as follows:
“The planned burning of the Islamic holy book by the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., is counter to the teaching of Jesus Christ, the model of faith and practice for Baptist Christians. It is an act intended to do harm to and cast aspersions on Muslims worldwide. The Fellowship has sought in its ministries and partnerships to reach out to Muslims in genuine dialogue, and the action threatened by this church is spiteful and counter-productive to the Fellowship’s shared vision of being the presence of Christ in the world.
The Fellowship applauds the courageous stand of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty, Parkview Baptist Church in Gainesville, FL, and its pastor, Greg Magruder, in condemning the plan to burn the Quran. The Fellowship, along with its Florida counterpart, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida, encourages Baptist Christians to unite in praying for peace, increased understanding among adherents to all faiths and deepened commitment to religious liberty in this country. The Fellowship’s Advisory Council expresses the sincere hope that the Dove World Outreach Center and its pastor, Rev. Terry Jones, will reconsider its plans and refrain from such a drastic demonstration of hate and mistrust.”
The twenty-six-member Advisory Council is made up of the Fellowship’s officers, national coordinators, and collaborative leaders and the committee chairs from the Coordinating Council’s committees and initiative teams. The Advisory Council is authorized to make decisions on behalf of the entire Coordinating Council, according to the Fellowship’s bylaws.
In addition to the public statements by the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty and Magruder, the Baptist Center for Ethics, a CBF partner, has been vocal in its opposition to the planned burning and has produced resources to expand the dialogue with Muslims, including the video and accompanying study guide called “Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims.”
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