Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 8, 2010 11:30AM

Koran-burning pastor's German parishioners shocked by plans

Rate: 17 Flag

 Cologne
You might think Cologne already had enough churches,
but that didn't stop the "Reverend" Terry Jones from
establishing a "Christian Congregation" in this ancient city

TOO LATE, GENERAL PETRAEUS: The Rev. Terry Jones’s plan to burn thousands of Korans at his “Dove World Outreach” Center in Gainsville, Florida on September 11 has already grabbed the world's headlines this week, regardless of what actually does or doesn't happen on Saturday. It has attracted particular attention in the German city of Cologne, where the pesky pastor first got his big break. But his former parishioners want nothing to do with the man.  

Today, Stephan Baar, deputy chairman of the charismatic “Christian Congregation of Colognetold journalists that “We distance ourselves from this action and do not want to be associated with it. We are very disturbed by [the plan]. Jones himself embodies the spirit he condemns – this propensity to violence, this fanaticism – within himself.” This is strong language coming from a church that Jones founded in Cologne in the 1980s after receiving a “sign from God.”    

For a time, Jones had up to 1,000 followers in this predominantly Catholic city. However, according to Baar, Jones did not project “biblical standards and values” to the outside, but instead sought to establish himself as a personality. Members recall him as a charismatic but extremely authoritarian personality who "brainwashed" his parishioners , urged them to beat their children if they got out of line, and established strict hierarchies. To this day, some members of his flock are supposedly still in psychiatric care. He may also have exploited them financially.

In later years, Jones identified Islam as his greatest enemy and preached against it in the most extreme terms imaginable. Things got so bad that some members claim they avoided attending services for fear that Muslims would attack them on the way to church.

In 2002 a Cologne court sentenced Jones to a 3,000 Euro fine for claiming a fake doctoral title. The church finally kicked Jones out in 2008 for “financial irregularities in the congregation.” He appears to have left the group from one day to the next after paying a four to five-digit sum. They haven’t had any contact with him since.  

Terry Jones 

Will Jones bow to pressure from the US Government and General David Petraeus, who fear that his planned Koran burning will unleash a firestorm of Muslim aggression against US citizens and interests? Don’t count on it, Baar says. “Terry Jones is someone who completes what he sets out to do when he views it as God’s will.”  

The Christian Congregation of Cologne, which has since shrunk to a mere sixty to eighty members, is delighted to be rid of Jones. “Thank God we’ve got nothing more to do with him,” says parishioner Diana Breuel. Still, the group isn’t taking any chances. They’ve decided to change their name – immediately. 


Sources:
Agence France Presse
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger
Der Spiegel
Die Welt

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
@Poorsinner
I'm against capitulation, but it sounds like a case of the chicken vs. the egg in this case. I'd love to hear additional reactions.
This sounds like domestic terrorism, or plans for it, in inciting violence through hate speech and hate actions. I wonder how much our government has power to stop that.
So, PS01, now we must burn the Koran, otherwise it's capitulation to Mooslem threats of violence? What are you saying?

Old Yeller, fire up the barn!
Fascinating to hear this background on the Right Rev. Jones. (Wait, there was a nother fanatical, narcissistic religious leader named Jones....)
Interesting to hear about this guy's background...even more to realize how small the 'church' in Gainesville is. If not picked up by media, would anyone have noticed these 50 or so hate mongers??
@Just Thinking
Yes, the wonders of modern technology. With the same effort, they or others could also have done something constructive and inclusive, don't you think?
I agree with Oryoki. I looked up the definition of domestic terrorism and it's: "Under current United States law, set forth in the USA PATRIOT Act, acts of domestic terrorism are those which: "(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended— (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_terrorism_in_the_United_States
This man is clearly trying to influence either people or the government through destructive action. That is terrorism, he should be arrested and charged. Not that I think they will, but I hope enough non deranged people show up so that the rest of the world knows the vast majority of the US doesn't support this kind of behavior. I also wish they would quit showing polls that cite over 1/2 the US population as viewing Islam unfavorably. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11223457
Where do they take these polls? backwoods, out in the country? I live smack in the heartland, and don't know anyone who feels that way. I would be very surprised if over half of our real population actually did.
poorsinneer101. what threats?
I like Oryoki & Hyblaean-Julie's suggestion: hoist him on his own petard.
@ConnieMack - The other Jones was murderous as well. Malignant personalities escalate...
A Christian burning the Qur'an is like an early hip hop producer burning his father's record collection...Some Christian churches in Florida will be reading from the Qur'an in protest...I'm with that...sounds pretty hip, a little postmodern even...and as a result criticism is expected, but it ain't nothin' new, anybody remember the Gnostics?

Let me stop carrying on and quote the book that will be free from the fire:

"Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away." (1 Corinthians 13:4-10 RSV)
the bully's defense: "he complained about being kicked, so i had to kick him again." american foreign policy in a nutshell.

thx for this alan, its amusing to learn that germans still take honorifics seriously, and less amusing to see they are still human enough to fall for some self-promoting religious psychotic.
I am really disturbed by the attention this man is getting.
I speculate that Mr. Jones might be liable for any damage or threat to property or life caused by his foolish actions if it could be shown that such danger was directly cause by his Koran burning.

And Mr. Jones would no doubt make an excellent psychiatric case study under any circumstance.