US Evangelicals are influential in Africa, but African church members focus on building schools and hospitals, and interfaith dialogue, rather than the Rev. Terry Jones's burning of sacred books.
The Rev. Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, has said he will torch the book by 5 pm on Saturday unless Youcef Nadarkhani, an imprisoned Iranian cleric, is set free. He has threatened to burn a copy of the Quran and multiple images of the Prophet Muhammed.
The act is likely to stir anger among Muslims worldwide, who view the burning as a great act of sacrilege. Last April, when Mr. Jones threatened to burn the Quran, riots broke out in the Afghan cities of Kandahar and Mazar-e Sharif, in which dozens were killed. In 2011, the Pakistani extremist group Jamaat-ud Dawa put a $2.2 million dollar bounty on Jones' head. This year, as the Afghan fighting season begins, the protests could even be worse.
But here in Africa, the question that many African Christians ask is whether the Florida pastor – who should ideally be a peacemaker – is taking the right path.