Koran Burning Drove Away 'Basically All' Parishioners

But Terry Jones won't back down
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2011 10:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – Following Terry Jones' involvement in a Koran-burning stunt, "basically all" the parishioners have left his church and he has received more than 300 death threats—but the Florida pastor is not backing down. Even after the resulting protests at a UN complex in Afghanistan left UN workers dead, Jones insists to ABC News his beliefs are more important. "Even at the expense of an American soldier, or two, or 10?" he was asked. His response: "I would have to say yes. Perhaps in the long run, we have saved hundreds or thousands of lives."

"We don't take it lightly," he insisted of the tragic aftermath, but "we cannot allow it to eat us up." In fact, the violence in Afghanistan proves his point, he says: "We wanted to raise awareness of this dangerous religion and dangerous element. I think [today's attack] proves that there is a radical element of Islam." As for the death threats against him—and the $2.4 million bounty the FBI claims Hezbollah has placed on his head—Jones is not afraid (but is always armed). "Yes, we are" willing to die for this, he says. "Very definitely." Click for more on the aftermath.

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