Comparison Table between Christianity, Islam and Judaism
Growth of Islam & Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa Since . and provide explanations for contemporary social relationships and norms. The Society of Missionaries of Africa endeavour to promote relations of respect and solidarity with the Muslims. A comparison of the belief systems of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish religions.
As members of the one human family and as believers, we have obligations to the common good, to justice and to solidarity. Interreligious dialogue will lead to many forms of cooperation, especially in responding to the duty to care for the poor and weak.
These are the signs that our worship of God is genuine. Christian-Muslim dialogue did not begin in the twentieth century; there are countless examples of formal and informal dialogues. Promotion of dialogue as the course the particular the Catholic Church will pursue in relations with Muslims was something new. The pilgrimage of John Paul II to Syria was connected both with that overall program of dialogue, now in its fourth decade, and also with the pope presiding over an elaborate commemoration of the great jubilee year The words John Paul II chose to use in Syria to describe Christian-Muslim relations, not only in the past but for the present and the future, seem more balanced and more realistic than the words of Rather than asking all to forget the past, as nearly Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council had done, John Paul II made a suggestion that forgiveness is an important component for the present and future.
A few months later, he would develop the three themes of peace, justice and forgiveness in his message for the World Day of Peace: At the end of our discussion we reached agreement on the following five points of consensus: We, Catholics and Muslims, believe that God is the source of peace and justice, and thus we fundamentally agree on the nature of peace and justice and the essential need of all to work for peace and justice.
Our rich teachings and traditions of peace and justice serve as a resource and inspiration for all; however, our immediate and present actions to work together are often wanting. The need to work together for peace and justice is a pressing demand in these troubled times.
We believe that it is God who forgives and that as Catholics and Muslims we are called by God to offer forgiveness. Forgiveness is an important step to moving beyond our past history if we are to preserve human dignity, to effect justice, and to work for peace.
With love and in the pursuit of truth, we will offer our criticisms of one another when we believe there is a violation of integrity of faith in God. When we meet in dialogue and discuss matters of peace, justice, and forgiveness, while being faithful to our traditions, we have experienced a profound and moving connection on the deepest level of our faith, which must take effect in our lives.
Now after more than 35 years, these programs and other activities in Christian-Muslim relations have a history that can be studied, and participants in these programs have developed strategies for adapting to external circumstances.
Even by September 11,there were three ongoing, regularly scheduled dialogues in place co-sponsored by the U. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Muslim organizations and councils. A number of Christian congregations and Islamic centers have good neighborly relations. In cities, often those that are diocesan sees or similar Christian judicatory locations, Christian and Muslim leaders know one another and are together for various occasions.
At church-sponsored universities, ongoing programs and special events bring Muslim and Christian scholars together for conversation and projects regularly. On an international scale, church leaders and Muslim leaders now meet and participate in dialogues. They occur in a retreat-like setting and involve a certain amount of spiritual sharing and religious experience.
They also allow participants to report and reflect on projects in various cities of the region in which they are involved. These dialogues have met each year to the present, eighteen meetings in all.
Each regional dialogue is co-chaired by a Catholic bishop and an official with the Muslim sponsoring organizations. Staff members from the organizations attend, scholars are invited by each side, and Catholic and Muslim hosts at each site serve important functions. The majority of participants are the Catholic and Muslim partners from the various cities within an easy commute of the meeting site.
Participants attend from Indianapolis, Detroit, Chicago, St. The Mid-Atlantic and West Coast dialogues convene at Catholic retreat and meeting facilities but one evening is usually spent at an Islamic center for prayer, a program, and a shared meal. A routine of prayer is maintained by each side, and evening prayer is usually the time for being present with one another. The Catholics attend maghrib prayers, and the Muslims attend vespers.
There are layers of structure and relationships involved in the somewhat complicated model of a regional dialogue, but the model works because it allows each side to involve members already engaged in Christian-Muslim relations and to contribute to the cost of the dialogue.
Decisions are made jointly. The good will and successes in local relationships feed into the regional dialogue and return home to the local scene expanded by contact at the regional dialogue. As a result, trust and good will are deepening and broadening, a few bishops are learning more about Islam, a network of Catholics and Muslims is expanding, and diocesan and regional Islamic programs promoting dialogue are increasing.
The Midwest dialogue over the course of most of its meetings has held discussions around the topic of revelation. The Mid-Atlantic dialogue has been discussing aspects of marriage and family life. The West Coast dialogue has addressed various topics under the general heading of spirituality.
The five points of consensus on peace, justice, and forgiveness resulted from the meeting of the West Coast Dialogue. All three dialogues spent considerable time, a complete meeting or more, on the topic of religion and violence in the two meetings following September 11, They felt is was important to do that; and most felt that these were their best meetings in terms of candor and growth in mutual understanding.
Many participants observed that their relationships with one another through the dialogues gave them a useful and valuable perspective in the days and weeks after September 11th. I organized these institutes. Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, a specialist on Islam, and now president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome, joined me and others in facilitating them.
For the advanced institute devoted entirely to Islam, 25 diocesan personnel attended. The first of these was given for 12 bishops in March ; the second will take place in March The USCCB program in interreligious relations has also included participation in numerous other consultations of Christians and Muslims. What have I learned from my Muslim friends and the experiences over the past two decades in dialogue with Muslims? I had an occasion recently to distill these lessons into ten points: Muslims feel compelled to lecture Christians about the basics of Islam to correction our mistaken views.
I am grateful for this in that I have learned much from the variety of perspectives on Islam which I have heard over the years. Muslims are particularly eager to tell Christians that Islam is not a new religion and that they venerate all the prophets, including Jesus and his mother Mary.
For too many centuries, from the beginning of the encounters between Arab Muslims and the Christians outside of the Arabian Peninsula, Christians have made outlandish statements about Islam, Muhammad, and Muslims. Both tendencies persist today—Christians making incorrect statements and Muslims wanting to educate Christians about Islam. Muslims might speak in generalities about other religious groups, just as Christians might do, and Muslims might offer compliments or criticisms of these other groups.
What they are truly looking for in religious individuals is God-consciousness or fear of the Lord, as Christians might call this virtue. That is what is important for Muslims. Although Christians and Muslims may use many of the same expressions and terms, they need to be clear with each other how they are using these terms.
They often talk past one another because we presume we each understand the same words and expressions like revelation, the word of God, Son of God, begotten, and Gospel. Muslims look upon Christians pretty much as one group although those who have taken the time to learn about the differences have some insight into how much variety there is among Christians regarding belief and practice, how we interpret Scripture, and how we regard one another as Christians.
So, if one Christian says something or does something very negative with regard to Islam, Muslims expect other Christians to correct that person or by our silence we are expressing agreement with what has been said or.
Muslims are particularly eager to tell Christians about their respect for Jesus. They have difficulty understanding why Christians might not like them, or distrust them, or feel that they are out to get them, or why Christians say what they do about Muslim beliefs when Muslims know they themselves have such a wonderful respect for Jesus. Both are beautiful words but in their use or perceptions there are implications of violence which are difficult to avoid.
Christianity is a highly structured religion. Even small, independent, and loosely structured churches are conscientiously unstructured as a contrast to the rest of Christianity. Much has been made of the interchange between the Crusaders and the Arabs.
In some cases each side found in the other chivalry and respect worthy of admiration and even emulation. For the most part, however, European thinking had little influence on Arab culture. Conversely, the West found great benefit from early Islamic thought in the fields of culture and science. Westerners learned from their encounters with Islamic civilizations in all major scholarly and scientific fields, including philosophy, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, and mathematics as well as the arts and music.
It is well known that ancient Greek philosophy and science came to the West through the medium of Arab translation. Arab-Islamic medical science had a great influence on the development of the disciplines of medicine in Europe. Unfortunately, since the Middle Ages it has been politics that has dominated thinking on both sides, and a legacy of confrontation, distrust, and misunderstanding has prevailed until the present day.
Anti-Islamic stereotypes in both Europe and America today reflect early vitriolic sentiments expressed by ignorant and uninformed Christians aghast at the rise of Islam and by their descendants who suffered defeat by Muslims in the Crusades and beyond. Christian-Muslim Relations in the Early 21st Century The Ottoman Empire, at its height during the 16th and 17th centuries under Suleiman the Magnificent, suffered gradual decline in succeeding centuries, culminating in its defeat as an ally of Imperial Germany during World War I.
Having already lost most of its European territories before the war, the empire suffered a breakup into what is now Turkey and the countries of the Middle East, whose boundaries were drawn by the victorious Western allies.
It was also at this time that the seeds were sown for the establishment of the state of Israel in the heart of the Middle East, with statehood emerging in These events of the first half of the 20th century were pivotal for determining the subsequent relations between Muslims and the West Christians and Jews, and now secularists. Meanwhile in other parts of the Muslim world, especially Africa and South Asia, colonialists wreaked havoc, supplanting Islamic educational systems with secular or Christianity-based systems.
By more than 90 percent of sub-Saharan Africa was already under European control. Inhumane behavior has never been limited to either Christians or Muslims. Turkey during and after World War I carried out one of the worst genocides in history with the massacre of more than 1 million Armenians.
Muslim-Christian relations in Europe today are inevitably affected by centuries-old fears of Islamic violence.
These fears, of course, are exacerbated by the terrorist events that have occurred in various parts of the world since the turn of the 21st century. Concern over the rising tide of immigrants coming into Europe from various parts of the Muslim world also has served to raise European nervousness about the presence of Islam.
Today some 70 percent of all refugees in the world are Muslim. On the psychological level fear and mistrust tap into a long history of mutual aggression. On the practical level, Europeans fear that they will lose jobs, a fair cut of social services, and the cultural integrity of their respective countries.
For their part many Muslims are experiencing what they see as a new form of international colonialism. The West has long been known for supporting corrupt dictators so as to foster its own economic needs.
Muslims, not surprisingly, question the sincerity of Western belief in justice and democracy. Selected areas of the world are highlighted in the following subsections as examples of the problems that bear on Christian-Muslim relations. Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa Many areas of Africa, of course, are suffering greatly today as a result of deteriorating conditions and relations between Muslim and Christian groups.
One obvious example is Nigeria. Since conflicts between Muslims and Christians in northern Nigeria have become violent and often deadly. The full picture is complex and related directly to the British colonialist venture in Nigeria.
Thus, relations between the two communities are based not only on religion, but also more specifically are a combination of economic, political, and religious factors. The British captured the Sokoto Caliphate inafter which it became known as the Northern Protectorate, which, inbecame part of the independent Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Hausa-Fulani, the dominant leadership, were Muslim, and the ethnic minorities were primarily Christian.
Christian-Muslim Relations in the United States
This racial-ethnic divide remains as the major identifier of groups today, even though issues of conflict may have nothing specifically to do with religion. Interfaith conflict in Nigeria in the contemporary period took a more serious turn when, insome Muslims objected to Christian evangelization efforts and fighting broke out. These troubles have continued regularly, often with orgies of killing and looting, much of it unrelated to religion or ethnicity.
For Muslims themselves, violence among members of the faith may be of greater consequence than struggles between groups representing Islam and Christianity. Today a major player in exacerbating Nigerian sectarian violence is the Muslim sect called Boko Haram, which is strongly opposed to Western values and forms of education and generally shares a Taliban ideology.
In recent years, members of Boko Haram have raided schools, churches, and government offices in their fight to carve out an Islamic enclave in northeastern Nigeria. In AprilBoko Haram abducted more than schoolgirls, who as of this writing have not been returned. Those familiar with the situation in northern Nigeria believe that Christian and Muslim organizations could greatly assist in ending conflicts said to be carried out in the name of religion.
Many observers believe that the key lies with renewed efforts at interreligious dialogue.The Place of Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham in Islam, Christianity and Judaism - Nouman Ali Khan
Conservative Muslims often think that Christians seek to convert them, and Christians worry that Muslims want to make Indonesia into an Islamic state. Christians have always harbored a deep fear of Islamization. Under President Suharto Christians began to lose their influence with the regime and felt increasingly marginalized.
In after the fall of the Suharto regime, an upsurge in violent Muslim-Christian conflicts took place throughout the country. Since Indonesia became an independent state inpancasila has served as its guiding philosophy, including among other principals freedom of religion within the framework of monotheism. The cause of violence has been attributed by many people to nonreligious factors such as politics and control of state power.
Muslim-Christian Relations: Historical and Contemporary Realities
Still, religious rhetoric has been used to mobilize groups and forces. The possibility of interreligious conflict has increased dramatically in recent years. In exchange for a kind of religious equilibrium, the church tries to cooperate with secular authorities. New forms of conflict transformation, specifically efforts toward peace-building, are gaining ground across communities that have experienced some of the worst conflicts.
A group called Peace Provocateurs, for example, has worked to advance brotherhood and peace in Ambon, as a result of which Ambon has achieved relative calm. One of the largest Muslim organizations in Indonesia, the Muhammadiyah, is also working for peace and accepts Christians in its schools. Ina large interfaith conference was co-sponsored by several Christian and Muslim organizations, leading to meetings across the country to air tensions, prevent violence, and promote harmony.
Despite peaceful efforts in Southeast Asia in general violence has not fully abated. Sinceseveral countries have seen the emergence of armed Islamist groups, such as Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines and Laskar Jihad in Indonesia. The world was shocked at the Bali bombings incarried out by an al-Qaida affiliate.
Some observers argue that violence in Southeast Asia represents a defense response on the part of Muslims rather than aggressive fanaticism. Often it represents a response to efforts of local governments to extend their control over areas where Muslims are in the minority.
The epicenter of Christian-Muslim relations after the rise of Islam, the Middle East is a complex, heterogeneous region, where the addition of the state of Israel has further complicated relations. The recent Arab Spring, pressures for a more Islamic state in Turkey, and international dialogue on the future of relations between Iran and the West have added to regional tensions.
Generally minorities sometimes tiny ones in states dominated by Muslim-majority populations, Christians are focused on trying to live as full and equal citizens.
In some cases, especially in Syria and Egypt today, Christians are struggling for their very existence. Christians in Muslim-dominated areas generally support efforts to secure the separation of religion and state, while some Muslims argue that the two must not be separated.
Christians worry that when no distinction is made between religion and politics they run the risk of being labeled noncitizens, even though they were the primary populations of their lands long before the beginning of Islam.
In general, Christians number about 5 percent of the total population of the Middle East. They account for some 40 percent of the population in Lebanon and 10 percent in Egypt. The modern states have mainly replaced these laws with modern civil codes.
Christianity and Islam - Wikipedia
Nonetheless, divisions between Muslims and non-Muslims have deep roots in most areas of the Middle East and can sometimes serve as the central cause of harassment and discrimination. Muslims, especially in states where they make up the majority of a population, are divided into various groups whose supporters uphold more progressive notions of government versus those who advance more conservative views.
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Modern Turkey, for example, is struggling to determine the degree to which it remains a secular state, the basis on which it was founded inor move toward the Islamicization of society.
The latter option, of course, presents serious problems for its Christian minorities. Finally, Muslims do not hold to any assurance of salvation. They do not feel that is was even necessary for Jesus to pay for our sins. The belief that they hold is that every man must bear and pay for his or her own sins; for Jesus to be punished and responsible for our sins would be unjust in their eyes.
Christians believe that man had no ability to atone for his sins. Christians believe that we are hopelessly lost except for the immeasurable gift of God's grace, which is the only means of salvation. Learn More about Christianity! Godthe Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
Jesusthe creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buriedand rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Saviordeclaring, " Jesus is Lord ," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.