Community of Christ Denounces Religious Persecution

September 8, 2010

As a people who experienced religious persecution, we are alarmed by the growing tide of religious fear, intolerance, and violence evident throughout the world. We join our voices with other religious leaders to denounce any religious persecution and specifically anti-Muslim actions, such as Dove World Outreach Center in the USA, which plans to burn the Qur’an on September 11. Such attitudes, behaviors, and actions reflect hatred rather than Christ’s example of love; divide rather than break down walls that separate people; and ignore Christ’s call for his disciples to be peacemakers, ambassadors of reconciliation, and advocates for justice.

We challenge you to speak out against religious intolerance and actions that damage relationships and are contrary to Christ’s example of love and mutual respect. Led by the Holy Spirit, members and friends of Community of Christ must work with God and others to restore peace to creation and create communities of Christ’s peace and justice in our families and congregations and across villages, cities, tribes, and nations.


Advocates of justice? I love these guys. More later.


  1. JOHN WILLIS says:

    I was about to post that I wish the Utah based LDS Church would issue a similar statement . Go to the site and click on the newsroom. They just did. Praise the lord.

  2. Booo! The world needs MORE religious persecution.

    (I kid, I kid)

  3. Here is the short release from the newsroom:

    SALT LAKE CITY 8 September 2010 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through a spokesman, issued the following statement today in response to news media inquiries:

    “A key tenet of our faith is to accord everyone the freedom to worship as they choose. It is regrettable that anyone would regard the burning of any scriptural text as a legitimate form of protest or disagreement.”

  4. Kevin Barney says:

    Plus 1.

  5. Geoff, thanks for posting that announcement.

  6. Please define “persecution” because in the imortal words of Indigo Montoya, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

  7. Harrassment, threats, abuse….in other words, what John Stuart Mill called social tyranny. Like Mill, I think that social tyranny is almost worse that state-sponsored persecution.

    Wikipedia says that it is “Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group.”

    So…how am I (of the CoC) using it wrong?

  8. Maybe he was thinking “prosecution…”


  9. Chris:

    Using Mill as a reference– as you’ve interpreted him– transforms all social norming into persecution rendering the definition meaningless and useless for all practical purposes. The Wiki definition you provided clearly requires systemic harassment and annoyance. For something to be systemic it must pass two threshold measures: first it must pass a materiality test,; and, second, it must be organized (typically required to determine materiality). So if you can clearly articulate how current events reach those two thresholds I’ll grant you your persecution label. Otherwise you’re mearly engaging in your own form of inflammatory rhetoric meant to persecute those with whom you disagree.

  10. I am fine with being meaningless and useless. Thanks for stopping by,

  11. My FB status now reads:

    Chris Henrichsen is meaningless and useless for all practical purposes.

  12. Chris, if you’re going to use any word in the future, might I recommend emailing PaulM first? As he noted, he alone is in charge of “granting” you the right to use certain words and phrases.

  13. Chris:

    I think anyone even remotely acquainted with you already knew that.

  14. I don’t know why you’re giving PaulM such a hard time, I thought it was completely obvious that the hinted definition of materiality from “United States ex rel. Longhi v. Lithium Power Technologies, Inc.” should apply to any conversations about persecution.

  15. P.S. In order to cover my bases here, I emailed him before posting comment #12 and this comment as well to make sure that my use of the word “recommend” passed the required threshold measures.

  16. When referencing that quote from The Princess Bride in the future, can we please get at least one of the following correct?

    1) The character’s name: Inigo Montoya.
    2) The quote: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  17. Actually, Indigo Montoya is the less-awesome brother of Inigo. Indigo wanted to join the Blue Man Group, but they decided he was kind of purple and wouldn’t let him in.

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