The Assemblies of God today unambiguously denounced Saturday’s planned Koran burning. [AP reported around 5 p.m. ET that the church is canceling the event.]
The Assemblies of God’s statement is notable because:
1.) The Assemblies of God is the largest Pentecostal organization in the world and this Gainesville, Fla. church, apparently, sees itself as being part of the Pentecostal movement.
2.) The Assemblies of God rarely speaks out on political controversies such as this.
3.) Few organizations in history have done more to affect Christian missions. The Assemblies of God clearly believed this Koran burning would not only put people at risk but would undermine their efforts to spread the Gospel around the globe.
**AG NEWS SPECIAL REPORT**
**Assemblies of God denounces burning of Qur’an
In what has become a national furor, a small non-denominational
church, Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Florida, has
announced plans to burn copies of the Qur’an on Saturday,
September 11 — the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
As the church has reportedly made claims of Pentecostalism, the
Assemblies of God — the overall ninth largest denomination in the
United States and one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in
the United States — has made it clear it has no ties with the church
and has publicly objected to the burning.
“I don’t believe that [burning the Qur'an] is respectful toward the
very people we want to love into the Kingdom,” states AG General
Superintendent George O. Wood. “It only drives Muslims farther away
from the Lord Jesus and reinforces the false notion that followers
of Jesus are crusaders from the Middle Ages.”
General David Patraeus, the American commander in Afghanistan, and
President Barack Obama have both voiced their strong objections to
the planned burning — saying that it will put the lives of American
soldiers at risk and be used as a recruitment tool for Al Qaeda.
Numerous church and religious leaders have also condemned the
burning. However, Terry Jones, the pastor and founder of Dove World
Outreach Center, has indicated the burning will still take place.
“Such actions as these only make it more difficult to effectively
witness to Muslims,” Wood says. “Our focus should be on sharing the
amazing love of God that brought Jesus into this world to die for
our sins — not engaging in activities that only drive people farther
away from Christ.”