Accessibility links

Breaking News

U.S. Pastor Backs Away From Koran Burning

Pastor Terry Jones came under high-profile pressure to call off his anti-Muslim event.
The pastor of a small U.S. church who had threatened to burn Korans to mark the anniversary of 9/11 has said he will not do so.

Speaking in an interview with NBC television in New York, Terry Jones said he would "not ever" carry out the threat.

Jones, the pastor of a church with 50 members in Florida, gained worldwide notice for his threat to burn Islam's holy book.

U.S. officials had urged him not to do so, saying it was against the spirit of religious tolerance in America and would raise tensions in the Muslim world and become a recruiting bonanza for extremists.

But officials were also careful to avoid perceptions that they would risk Americans' right to free speech, on religion or other issues.

Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States and around the world had voiced objections to the "Burn A Koran Day" plan.

compiled from agency reports