Whose religious freedom?


Canon Dr Vinay Samuel of the Church of South India reflects on the stand-off in the USA on religious freedom in Florida and New York

“For me, the basic question for the next 24 hours is ‘Should innocent people die for the United States’ version of religious freedom?’

While I applaud and indeed share the US stance on religious freedom, and would defend it personally, who will pay the price if the Koran burning goes ahead?  Primarily it will be Christian minorities in many muslim countries who are most vulnerable to attack and least able to defend themselves and for whom neither I nor the USA can provide any defence.

Why then should people in the US make other people pay the price for their version of religious freedom when they can defend themselves far better than those who are highly vulnerable? For example Christian refugees from the floods in Pakistan are in camps.  Little imagination is required to see the target they present in these circumstances.

Further, is burning the Koran the best expression of protecting and preserving the US understanding of religious freedom for which so many of their people have sacrificed their lives? I think not?”

See also Barnabas Fund statement here

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