06 Jun

Clarification statement by Pastor McConnell on recent comments

I wish to make a clarification statement with regards to statements made by me recently in relation to members of the Muslim faith. 

I wish to emphasise that I had no intention of causing any offence or insulting any member of the Muslim community or to arouse fear or stir-up or incite hatred towards any member of the Muslim community. 

I wish to apologise publicly for any distress I may have unwittingly caused on my part.

My sermon was drawing attention to how many followers of Islam have, regrettably, interpreted the doctrine of Islam as justification for violence.  I have qualified my comments by reference to those who use their religion as justification for violence.  As a preacher of the word of God, it is this interpretation of the doctrine of Islam which I am condemning. 

I abhor violence and condemn anyone, of any faith, who uses religion to justify it. 

I have devoted 60 years of my life to the service of God and preached the word of God as a Pastor to thousands of people in our community over my lifetime.

I have worked tirelessly to promote my Christian doctrine.  Many faiths and denominations have attended at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle, including members of the Muslim faith.  My mission has created a community in Ethiopia which ensures over 600 children a day, including Christans and Muslims, have access to clean water and food.  In addition, we fund a clinic in Kenya which provides 1200 people a month with  access to medical care. 

I believe in the principle of free speech and in freedom of religion. 

Finally, I also will welcome any opportunity to attend at the Islamic Centre in Belfast in the near future.


Pastor James McConnell