The spread of Christianity vs Islam – The very clear differences…


Today, I thought about the persecution of the saints, historical and current. I have been researching what percentage of refugees/asylum seekers are based on religion and politics. And from what I can tell, Christians are the most persecuted world wide. I will include some links concerning this from Pew Research which is considered one of the most reliable unbiased sites for collecting data on such matters.

As I researched, I found an article from Pew Research where Michael Cook, widely considered among the most outstanding scholars on the history of Islam speaks about the history of Islam and compares it to the history of Christianity. It’s quite an eye opener to say the least. It is lengthy, but WELL worth the read. Michael Cook was asked: “AUDREY TAYLOR, ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT: I work in television, the world of sound bites, and the one we always hear is that Islam as a religion has been hijacked by a few who are crazy, and it’s only a few. But you’ve been saying, in terms of jihad, that necessarily isn’t the case. We try to simplify it, saying there are only a few crazy people out there, and this is not indicative of the Islamic world as a whole. How do you address that because it doesn’t seem to be accurate?

MR. COOK: One of the things about being an academic is that I don’t have to be a diplomat — that would really bother me. As I see it, my role is simply to tell the way it is.”

I really hope you take the time and read this, I found it absolutely fascinating…

Any world religion must have become a bandwagon at some stage in its history, or it wouldn’t be a world religion. But world religions vary with regard to the timing of the bandwagon effect. In the Christian case, you have to wait until the fourth century for the Christian bandwagon to start rolling. Before the fourth century, you have to be pretty concerned about your eternal salvation for it to make sense to become a Christian.

In the Muslim case, the timing is quite different. Once the prophet gets to Medina, once he establishes this state, there is already the beginning of a bandwagon. In other words, the bandwagon effect in Islam comes extremely early. What does this mean? It means three things. One is that the historical experiences of early Christianity and early Islam are completely different. In the Christian case, you have a religion that remains the religion of a persecuted minority for the best part of three centuries. All the basic shapes of the religion are already set before the bandwagon starts. By contrast, in the Islamic case, you have less than 12 years in which the Muslims are a persecuted minority in Mecca. From that point on, once they get to Medina, and the prophet starts building his state, the bandwagon is rolling.

If, as you listen to my stories of the prophet, you have the Gospels in mind, you must have a sense that these stories are very, very different. They not only relate different historical circumstances, but they are told to a different audience. The audience of the Gospels is people who are seriously concerned about their salvation. The audience of the stories I’ve told you — well, the salvation-minded might be listening, too — but these stories cater to the military and political elite of the Arab-Islamic Empire. They address people who are interested in military operations, who like to know about preemptive strikes and incidents of friendly fire. These stories are told for people extremely interested in politics, who are fascinated by the judgment calls required to keep a shaky coalition together.

I hope you see this difference, this interest in military and political affairs, which makes the life of Muhammad, as it is written, so different in texture from the life of Jesus, as it’s written in the Gospels. Think what it means that you have, at the present day, these two utterly different heritages, these two utterly different ways of approaching and describing the life of the founder of the religion. I think that helps explain both why Islamic fundamentalism has been such a relative success in recent decades, and why people coming from a Christian background find it incredibly hard to understand it. [source]

Further reading on Religious persecution:


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