Washington, Feb 26 (IANS) In a unique response to terrorism, a website has listed 165 dreaded terrorists, including Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, and urged people to adopt them so as to transform them by prayers.
The website, atfp.org, asks Christians to “adopt a terrorist for prayer” citing the popular quote from the Bible: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
“Where is the Christian response to terrorism?” asks the website, according to CNN.
“If the struggle against violence done in the name of Islam is primarily spiritual, then defeating it requires a spiritual response,” it adds.
The site which was launched in 2008, aims to teach people how to pray for their enemies and to spiritually reform the terrorists, Adopt a Terrorist For Prayer (ATFP) spokesman Thomas Bruce told CNN.
Bruce said 603 people have registered so far to prayerfully adopt a terrorist.
He said his team created the web portal with hopes of transforming the war against terrorists.
“We’ve been fighting this for about 10 years with material means, and it hasn’t really changed the nature of it,” Bruce was quoted as saying.
“By bringing spiritual perspective to it, and as the Lord answers some of those prayers, it could and should hopefully have a profound change on the viciousness of the conflict we’re in,” he said.
The list of terrorists on the ATFP website put for “adoption” include those designated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and State Department as terrorists or sponsors of terrorism.
The website gives the option for its visitors to log in and choose any individual they want to transform through prayer.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been adopted by 13 people, while Detroit underwear bombing suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab has just eight. All of the people listed have ties to Islam, the report said.
Bruce said while he’s considered adding Christian or even eco terrorists to the list, they “aren’t a big threat to national security, our way of life, or our freedom”.
“We should pray for them too, but the movement doesn’t threaten existentially our existence the same way the Islamic terrorists do,” he added.
Bruce, who has worked as a US military chaplain in Iraq, believes: “Even once someone is captured, they might not be a threat nationally any longer but they still have value to God, and we’d still like to see them changed.”