Islam is one of the major world religions with an estimated 1.3 billion followers worldwide . The name Islam comes from an Arabic term meaning submission, a reference to the central belief that the goal of religion, or of a true believer, is submission to God's will. Adherents of Islam are referred to as Muslims.
Islam teaches that God (in Arabic, Allah) revealed his direct word and commands for mankind to Muhammad (c. 570–632) in the form of the Qur'an (also Koran), and to other prophets (including Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus), many of whom are Biblical figures shared with Christianity and Judaism. Despite admitting the ministry of prophets earlier than Muhammad, Islam asserts that the primary written record of God's revelation to humankind is the Qur'an, which Muslims believe to be flawless, immutable, and the final revelation of God.
Islam has been termed one of the three Abrahamic religions, along with Christianity and Judaism. At times, the Bahá'í Faith is also included.
Islam teaches that parts of the Bible have been forgotten, misinterpreted, or distorted by Christians and Jews. Given this perspective, Islam views the Qur'an as corrective of Jewish and Christian scriptures.
Muslims do not hold the divinity of Jesus Christ and his unique salvific role, and the teachings of Islam in this respect have been likened to a compound heresy composed of elements of Arianism, Nestorianism, and Docetism ("...They did not kill him [Jesus] and they did not crucify him, but it was made to seem so to them..." Qur'an, 4:157), with some Pelagian and also Monarchianistic (i.e., anti-Trinitarian)] elements.
Muslims hold that Islam is essentially the same belief as that of all the messengers sent by God to mankind since Adam, with the Qur'an (the one definitive text of the Muslim faith) codifying the final revelation of God. Islam views Judaism and Christianity as incomplete derivatives of the teachings of certain prophets—notably Abraham—and therefore acknowledges their Abrahamic roots, whilst the Qur'an calls them People of the Book.
According to the Qur'an Jesus is the Christ, the son of Mary, the Messenger of God. Further, that Jesus was given the Gospel as a Book from God, and Jesus came to confirm the Torah, and also to permit some of what was prohibited upon the sons of Israel for some reasons. It also teaches the Jesus the Christ is a Word from God, and a Messenger sent by Him.
Islam has three primary branches of belief, based largely on a historical disagreement over the succession of authority after Muhammad's death. These are known as Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kharijite.
Orthodoxy and Islam
- A History of Orthodox Missions Among the Muslims
- Saints of the Orthodox Church who converted from Islam: St. Serapion of Kozheozero, St. Constantine Hagarit, St. Ahmed the Deftedar, St. Abu of Tbilisi, St. Peter and Stephan of Kazan.
- Orthodox Women Saints and Islam
- Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens on "Islam: The Extent of the Problematics”
- Zakaria Botros
- Roman Silantyev
- St. John of Damascus' Critique of Islam. Orthodox Christian Information Center.
- "Islam is a Different Culture". SPIEGEL ONLINE: Interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper, September 18, 2006.
- Islam and the West: Towards an Anti-Civilization. Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia: Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland website. (Argues that the so-called ‘clash of civilizations’ between the “west” and “islam” is not the real issue, rather, due to pervasive secularism, it is the clash between between “civilization” and “anti-civilization” that is the real threat).
- World Council of Churches. Living in Community: The Goal of Christian-Muslim Dialogue. October 20, 2008.
Human Rights and Persecution of Christians
- Dr. Otmar Oehring. TURKEY: Turkish nationalism, Ergenekon, and denial of religious freedom. Forum 18 News, 21 October 2008. (Dr. Otmar Oehring is Head of the Human Rights Office of the German Catholic charity Missio. A trial has begun in Turkey of influential people alleged to be part of an ultra-nationalist group, Ergenekon. The court case reveals 86 members, ranging from the Turkish police, army, business, politics, and the mass media, are alleged in a plan to assassinate the Ecumenical Patriarch, along with the murder of two Turkish Christians. Ergenekon members are alleged to have maintained deathlists of people, including Christians with a missionary background. The Malatya murder trial is revealing plausible links between Ergenekon, the "deep state" and the murders.)
- Luca Galassi (peacereporter.net). Iraq, the pogrom of the Christians. Oct 27, 2008.
- Michael Coren. Michael Coren: The jihad on Egypt's Christians. The National Post, Toronto, October 23, 2008.