Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa | Pew Research Center
The day-to-day living relations between Christians and Muslims over the centuries are part of a long and complicated history. Christian-Muslim dialogue did not. Jul 3, A comparison of the belief systems of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish religions. Aug 25, The Council on American-Islamic Relations has documented incidents that stemmed from anti-Muslim bias between April 1 and June
Indeed, for the Muslim, Allah cannot have any associates. When we look at Yahweh, however, who is the God of the Bible, we see a different kind of deity.
The Jews realized that Jesus was referring to himself as God and took up stones to stone him for what they believed was blasphemy.
This link between Jesus in the New Testament and the burning bush in the Old Testament demonstrates the unity of the one God manifested to both the Jews and the Christians. This cannot be said of the Muslim God because Muslims reject the deity of Jesus and therefore reject much of what the New Testament says about Jesus. We also find that the Bible portrays Yahweh in contrast to Allah.
For example, Allah is considered to be too holy to have personal relationships with man, but Yahweh is often described as a loving God interested in our personal struggles. Yahweh is also depicted as unchanging and One who assures the salvation of the faithful. Finally, because there is unity in the Trinity with the one God also being three persons, God can be described as the Father of Jesus.
Islam vs Christianity
Some scholars want to emphasize the similarities between Yahweh and Allah, and point to a common belief in a monotheistic God who is Creator of all things, omnipotent and merciful. Both religions also claim that God has sent prophets to reveal His will and produce scriptures to guide our lives. However, Allah and Yahweh cannot refer to the same person for the following reasons.
First of all, their attributes are different. In short, Muhammad was an ignorant charlatan who succeeded by imposture in seducing the ignorant barbarian Arabs into accepting a gross, blaspheming, idolatrous, demoniac religion, which is full of futile errors, intellectual enormities, doctrinal errors and moral aberrations.
Goddard further notes that in Nicetas we can see in his work a knowledge of the whole Koran including an extensive knowledge of suras Nicetas account from behind the Byzantine frontier apparently set a strong precedent for later writing both in tone and points of argument.
Catholic Church and Islam[ edit ] Main article: However, as in the case of the question of Judaism, several events came together again to prompt a consideration of Islam.
By the time of the Second Session of the Council in reservations began to be raised by bishops of the Middle East about the inclusion of this question. The position was taken that either the question will not be raised at all, or if it were raised, some mention of the Muslims should be made. Melkite patriarch Maximos IV was among those pushing for this latter position.
Early in Cardinal Bea notified Cardinal CicognaniPresident of the Council's Coordinating Commission, that the Council fathers wanted the Council to say something about the great monotheistic religions, and in particular about Islam. The subject, however, was deemed to be outside the competence of Bea's Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity. Bea expressed willingness to "select some competent people and with them to draw up a draft" to be presented to the Coordinating Commission.
At a meeting of the Coordinating Commission on 16—17 April Cicognani acknowledged that it would be necessary to speak of the Muslims. Pope Paul VI chose to follow the path recommended by Maximos IV and he therefore established commissions to introduce what would become paragraphs on the Muslims in two different documents, one of them being Nostra aetate, paragraph three, the other being Lumen gentiumparagraph The reference to Maryfor example, resulted from the intervention of Monsignor Descuffi, the Latin archbishop of Smyrna with whom Massignon collaborated in reviving the cult of Mary at Smyrna.
The commendation of Muslim prayer may reflect the influence of the Badaliya. Protestantism and Islam Islam and Protestantism share orientations towards iconoclasm: Protestantism and Islam entered into contact during the 16th century, at a time when Protestant movements in northern Europe coincided with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in southern Europe.
As both were in conflict with the Catholic Holy Roman Empirenumerous exchanges occurred, exploring religious similarities and the possibility of trade and military alliances.
Mormonism and Islam Mormonism and Islam have been compared to one another ever since the earliest origins of the former in the nineteenth century, often by detractors of one religion or the other—or both.
This epithet repeated a comparison that had been made from Smith's earliest career,  one that was not intended at the time to be complimentary. Comparison of the Mormon and Muslim prophets still occurs today, sometimes for derogatory or polemical reasons  but also for more scholarly and neutral purposes. Large numbers of Africans actively participate in Christianity or Islam yet also believe in witchcraft, evil spirits, sacrifices to ancestors, traditional religious healers, reincarnation and other elements of traditional African religions.
Many Christians and Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa describe members of the other faith as tolerant and honest. In most countries, relatively few see evidence of widespread anti-Muslim or anti-Christian hostility, and on the whole they give their governments high marks for treating both religious groups fairly. Muslims are significantly more positive in their assessment of Christians than Christians are in their assessment of Muslims.The Place of Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham in Islam, Christianity and Judaism - Nouman Ali Khan
There are few significant gaps, however, in the degree of support among Christians and Muslims for democracy. Regardless of their faith, most sub-Saharan Africans say they favor democracy and think it is a good thing that people from other religions are able to practice their faith freely. At the same time, there is substantial backing among Muslims and Christians alike for government based on either the Bible or sharia law, and considerable support among Muslims for the imposition of severe punishments such as stoning people who commit adultery.
For additional details, see the survey methodology PDF. The countries were selected to span this vast geographical region and to reflect different colonial histories, linguistic backgrounds and religious compositions.
Comparison Table between Christianity, Islam and Judaism
In total, the countries surveyed contain three-quarters of the total population of sub-Saharan Africa. Other Findings In addition, the nation survey finds: Africans generally rank unemployment, crime and corruption as bigger problems than religious conflict.
However, substantial numbers of people including nearly six-in-ten Nigerians and Rwandans say religious conflict is a very big problem in their country. The degree of concern about religious conflict varies from country to country but tracks closely with the degree of concern about ethnic conflict in many countries, suggesting that they are often related. Many Africans are concerned about religious extremism, including within their own faith. Indeed, many Muslims say they are more concerned about Muslim extremism than about Christian extremism, and Christians in four countries say they are more concerned about Christian extremism than about Muslim extremism.
Neither Christianity nor Islam is growing significantly in sub-Saharan Africa at the expense of the other; there is virtually no net change in either direction through religious switching. In most countries, at least half of Muslims say that women should not have the right to decide whether to wear a veil, saying instead that the decision should be up to society as a whole.
Circumcision of girls female genital cutting is highest in the predominantly Muslim countries of Mali and Djibouti but is more common among Christians than among Muslims in Uganda.
Christian-Muslim Relations in the United States
Majorities in almost every country say that Western music, movies and television have harmed morality in their nation. Yet majorities in most countries also say they personally like Western entertainment. In most countries, more than half of Christians believe in the prosperity gospel — that God will grant wealth and good health to people who have enough faith. By comparison with people in many other regions of the world, sub-Saharan Africans are much more optimistic that their lives will change for the better.
Adherence to Islam and Christianity Large majorities in all the countries surveyed say they believe in one God and in heaven and hell, and large numbers of Christians and Muslims alike believe in the literal truth of their scriptures either the Bible or the Koran. Most people also say they attend worship services at least once a week, pray every day in the case of Muslims, generally five times a dayfast during the holy periods of Ramadan or Lent, and give religious alms tithing for Christians, zakat for Muslims; see the glossary of terms for more information about tithing and zakat.
Indeed, sub-Saharan Africa is clearly among the most religious places in the world. In many countries across the continent, roughly nine-in-ten people or more say religion is very important in their lives. By this key measure, even the least religiously inclined nations in the region score higher than the United States, which is among the most religious of the advanced industrial countries.
Persistence of Traditional African Religious Practices At the same time, many of those who indicate they are deeply committed to the practice of Christianity or Islam also incorporate elements of African traditional religions into their daily lives.
For example, in four countries Tanzania, Mali, Senegal and South Africa more than half the people surveyed believe that sacrifices to ancestors or spirits can protect them from harm. Sizable percentages of both Christians and Muslims — a quarter or more in many countries — say they believe in the protective power of juju charms or amulets.
Many people also say they consult traditional religious healers when someone in their household is sick, and sizable minorities in several countries keep sacred objects such as animal skins and skulls in their homes and participate in ceremonies to honor their ancestors. And although relatively few people today identify themselves primarily as followers of a traditional African religion, many people in several countries say they have relatives who identify with these traditional faiths.
African Traditional Religions Handed down over generations, indigenous African religions have no formal creeds or sacred texts comparable to the Bible or Koran. They find expression, instead, in oral traditions, myths, rituals, festivals, shrines, art and symbols.