Controversial US pastor burns Korans in protest despite US advice to re consider

by Chi Ibe

US pastor Terry Jones has burned more copies of the Koran and a depiction of the prophet Mohammed to protest the imprisonment of a Christian pastor in Iran, The Gainesville Sun has reported.

Jones, who is from Florida, protested the imprisonment of  Youcef Nadarkhani at a burning ceremony attended by 20 people and streamed live over the Internet on Saturday. The video of the burning was uploaded to YouTube by the pastor’s supporting group “Stand Up America Now.”

Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009 and condemned to death under Islamic sharia law for converting to Christianity when he was 19.

But the US government has not shown support for this daring act. The Pentagon urged Jones to reconsider, because American soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere were going to be a target and could be at greater risk because of it.

In March 2011, the US pastor’s assistant burned a copy of the Koran and broadcast the ceremony on the Internet, the images provoked violence in northern Afghanistan, in which at least 12 people were killed.

Jones ignored the warnings and went ahead with the protest in the name of the release of the Christian pastor in Iran. He has been issued a citation for violating the city’s fire ordinances after the burning on Saturday, the report said.

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