Florida pastor Terry Jones said Tuesday that he and his members will continue with their plan to burn copies of the Quran to mark the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, regardless of concerns from U.S. generals in Afghanistan that the demonstration could put troops at risk.

Jones did say he is praying about his decision, leaving himself room to change course before Saturday.


"I am saying we are definitely praying about it," he told CNN's "American Morning." "We have firmly made up our mind, but at the same time, we are definitely praying about it."

Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, and one of his deputies, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, have both raised concerns that such actions by the church could endanger U.S. troops. 

"Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence," Petraeus wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

When asked about Petraeus's comment, Jones said his congregation was taking the warning "very seriously."

His church, Dove World Outreach Center, has about 50 members.