Published April 29, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A controversial Florida pastor held another Koran-burning ceremony outside his church to protest the imprisonment of a Christian clergyman in Iran, The Gainesville Sun reported.
Jones, who made headlines worldwide by videotaping a similar Koran-burning ceremony in March 2011, burned several copies of the Islamic holy book alongside an image depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad on Saturday evening.
About 20 people gathered for the ceremony outside the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., during which Jones demanded the release of Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor, currently in jail for apostasy after converting from Islam to Christianity.
Moments after the burning, the Gainesville Fire Rescue issued a citation against the church, claiming it did not have the required authorization to burn books.
The pastor, who is the head of the church, went ahead with the controversial ceremony despite reports that the Pentagon urged him not to, as it could put US soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere at risk.