GAINESVILLE, Florida — An evangelical Florida pastor Thursday refused to apologize for having threatened to burn the Koran, and renewed accusations that radical Islam was a “destructive” religion.
Terry Jones, who last week triggered a firestorm of international outrage after he threatened to burn a pile of Korans to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, said his small church would not apologize.
He said the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) had asked him to repent for his proposal to hold an “International Burn a Koran Day.”
“We have no conviction from God to repent. Therefore we have no intention and will not repent for standing up for the gospel,” Jones said in a brief statement to the press.
The WEA, which represents churches in 128 nations and 420 million evangelicals around the world, said it was “saddened” by Jones’s response.
“An apology would have contributed to reducing unacceptable violence triggered in some parts of the globe by his actions,” it said in a statement sent to AFP.
On Saturday Jones said in an interview that his tiny Dove World Outreach Center had dropped its plans to burn some 200 Korans, saying: “We will definitely not burn the Koran, no… Not today, not ever.”
But the radical pastor insisted Thursday that his group had broken no laws. “We have not even burned the Koran. But still violence erupted around the world. This is the face of radical Islam. Violence and to spread fear.”
Jones also hit out at Christian churches in the United States and worldwide, saying “they have lost their guts to stand up for Christianity.
“Instead, they bow down to the political powers, to the false doctrines of nations.”