The Words of the Stallings Family
Christian leaders are not satisfied that all is well simply because the burning of the Koran was called off. The crisis is not over, without active dialogue and engagement between all faiths the tensions will continue to erupt and cause great harm. To address this press conference will be held at Imani Temple on Capitol Hill, 6th and Maryland, N.E. at 10:00 a.m., Friday, September 10th to announce an International Day of Reverence and Respect for All Faiths.
Christian leaders joined by leaders of many faiths are alarmed by the actions of one pastor in Gainesville, Florida who had planned (until late Thursday afternoon) to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy by burning the Koran. Fortunately the plans were canceled, however we, as Christian pastors, are outraged at the misguided understanding of the Christian faith and the misapplication of the message of Jesus that has communicated to whole Muslim world. Much damage has already been done to cause separation and division between faiths -- this division can only be healed by love and understanding.
In response to this crisis, Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., Founder and Senior Pastor of Imani Temple on Capitol Hill and Co-President of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), is calling on Pastors throughout the nation and the world to join in an "International Day of Reverence and Respect for All Faiths and Holy Books" at their Sunday services this coming Sunday, September 12th.
Archbishop Stallings says, " In light of the immense sensitivities of September 11th and the tragedy that occurred nine years ago, Christians must stand up with the true spirit of Jesus and embrace and respect all people. This is a teachable moment. We must use this opportunity as Christian pastors in America and the world to extend an invitation to the Islamic Community to celebrate the spirit of love and respect that is called for in the teaching of the Bible and the Koran."
Joining with Archbishop Stallings will be noted civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian and Christian clergy from the DC, MD and VA area, including Apostle Floyd Nelson, Vice Presiding Prelate of Bibleway International; Rev. Michael Jenkins, chairman of the ACLC; Rev. Arnold Howard of Enon Baptist Church in Baltimore, Bishop Jesse Edwards, Gates of Praise Church Philadelphia, Rev. Ed Young of New Beginning Ministry in Virginia and other faith leaders.
Archbishop Stallings went on to say that "if the Koran is read carefully, with a prayerful understanding, we can see that the text embraces and teaches the universal principles that are consistent with the Bible. The Koran teaches that all people of the book should be respected: meaning all Christians, Muslims and Jewish believers who hold to their scriptures, as well as all faiths should be treated with respect."