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Wednesday, September 15, 1999 Published at 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK

World: Africa

Religious row brews in Kinshasa

A religious dispute is deepening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following Muslim allegations that a Christian evangelist burned a copy of the Koran on television.

A general assembly of imams has demanded the government punish the priest, Kutino Fernando, for violating Islam.

They're planning a protest march through the capital, Kinshasa, and have threatened court action.

Mr Kutino denies he burned the Koran, saying it was a small booklet containing handwritten Muslim prayers which he had to destroy during the live conversion of a child from Islam to Roman Catholicism. The wealthy preacher, who owns the television station, draws huge crowds to Sunday meetings across Kinshasa.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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