Founder says he's considered adding eco-terrorists to his list "but the movement doesn’t threaten existentially our existence the same way the Islamic terrorists do.'”

A recent CNN story is drawing attention to the little-known Adopt-a-Terrorist website, which urges Christians to take literally the injunction to love their enemies in hopes of spiritually reforming them through prayer.

The group's spokesman, Thomas Bruce, told CNN that his site has been offering its interactive adoption feature since 2009. So far, 603 people have registered to adopt a terrorist, with some names, like Osama bin Laden, drawing multiple sponsors. Another 165 names drawn from FBI and State Department listings are currently listed as open for adoption.

“We’ve been fighting this [war on terror] for about 10 years with material means, and it hasn’t really changed the nature of it,” Bruce told CNN. “By bringing spiritual perspective to it, and as the Lord answers some of those prayers, it could and should hopefully have a profound change on the viciousness of the conflict we’re in.”

As a further inducement to potential members, the site suggests that "associating with this movement marks you as one who is not afraid of either Satan or his minions. It raises your profile in the spiritual realm."

It appears that the chief goal of the site is not to change the hearts of terrorists, however, but to turn them to Jesus. Sample prayers include such formulas as “Holy Spirit, relentlessly pursue Al Zawahiri to the depths of his hideout, that he may not escape your grace” and “Father, provide an environment to Jamal Ahmed in which he is free to confess and believe in Jesus as Lord openly” and “Jesus, may news of your free gift of eternal salvation reach the opened ears of Rahman Yasin.”

When CNN asked why all the terrorists listed had ties to Islam, Bruce replied that "while he’s considered adding Christian or even eco terrorists to the list, they 'aren’t a big threat to national security, our way of life, or our freedom. We should pray for them too, but the movement doesn’t threaten existentially our existence the same way the Islamic terrorists do.'”

Bruce, who has degrees in geology and intercultural studies, obtained a degree in Christian ministray in 2004 from New Geneva Theological Seminary and served as a military chaplain in Iraq. He acknowledges that his idea has been subjected to mockery but insistes that "the ridicule comes from people who don’t believe that spiritual things are valid."

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.