Evangelical Alliance welcomes Home Office ban on Pastor Terry Jones

The Home Office refused entry to Pastor Terry Jones on the grounds that the Government "opposes extremism in all its form".

The pastor gained notoriety when he threatened to stage a Koran burning protest at his church in Gainesville, Florida, on the anniversary of 9/11.

He called off the stunt at the eleventh hour after the plans were condemned by political and religious leaders the world over.

Explaining the reason for the ban, a Home Office spokesman said: "The Government opposes extremism in all its forms which is why we have excluded Pastor Terry Jones from the UK.

"Numerous comments made by Pastor Jones are evidence of his unacceptable behaviour.

"Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right, and we are not willing to allow entry to those whose presence is not conducive to the public good.

"The use of exclusion powers is very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate."

Pastor Jones had been due to speak against Islam at an England is Ours rally in Bletchley in February.

He said he plans to appeal against the ban, vowing that he would not do anything against the law if he were to visit Britain.

The General Director of the UK Evangelical Alliance, Steve Clifford, last month contacted Pastor Jones to ask him to refrain from visiting Britain out of concern that it would incite hatred and tensions among different religious and ethnic groups.

He welcomed the ban.

“I had hoped Terry Jones would see sense and decide for himself not to come as his visit risked inflaming tension and inciting violence so I understand why the Home Secretary has taken this step," he said.

He added that Pastor Jones’ understanding of the Christian faith was shared by only a very small minority of believers.

“Christians are called to be passionate peacemakers, challenging any attitude that would lead to violence and respecting even those with whom we would disagree," he said.