Florida pastor's daughter says "he needs help"

BERLIN, Sept 10 Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:32pm EDT

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BERLIN, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The estranged daughter of a U.S. pastor who has threatened to burn copies of the Koran believes he has gone mad and needs help, she said in a German media interview conducted on Friday.

Emma Jones, who lives in Germany, told Spiegel Online she had e-mailed her father urging him to drop his plan to burn copies of the Islamic holy book, writing: "Dad, leave it be!"

He did not reply, she said.

Facing an outpouring of concern from U.S. leaders and anger from Muslims worldwide, Pastor Terry Jones, of Gainesville, Florida, said on Friday he no longer planned to burn the Koran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. [ID:nLDE6890JI]

But Jones appeared to leave open the possibility he could change his mind if a proposed meeting fails to take place on Saturday in New York with Muslim leaders planning to build an Islamic centre and mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"My father is not one to give up," said Emma Jones, 30. "As a daughter, I see the good-natured core inside him. But I think he needs help."

"I think he has gone mad," she added.

She described how a Christian community her father spent years building in Cologne, Germany was at first Bible-orientated but later changed. After leaving the community aged 17, Emma Jones said she returned in 2005 to find it had become sect-like.

"I saw that my father preached and did things that I didn't find biblical at all. He demanded total allegiance to himself and his second wife," she said. His first wife, her mother, died in 1996.

"That was real religious delusion I saw," she added. "Typical evidence of a sect."

Emma Jones said the community kicked out her father in 2008, when he returned to the United States.

"I really hope he comes to his senses," she said. (Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

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