How Islam Conquered Christianity

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How Islam Conquered Christianity

Post by Tryphosa on Sat Jul 26 2014, 09:50

How Islam Conquered Christianity ~ Jon Pentecost

It wasn’t by the sword, though that did come first. It wasn’t by persecution. It was through the pressures of peace and finances.

Back in the 7th and 8th centuries, Muslim conquerors didn’t aim to destroy Christianity. They simply wanted to control it. However, they did manage to extinguish the church’s witness. And it happened by offering security and financial stability.

Before the rise of Islam, Christians in ancient Persia experienced perhaps the most intense physical persecution any group of Christians have ever experienced. The church in Persia grew steadily, as missionaries from Antioch and Edessa ranged further east. Naturally, this caused some tension with the leaders of the established state religion, Zoroastrianism. The conflict between it and Christianity was often more acutely felt by the Zoroastrian clergy than that experienced by pagan priests in Rome. The clergy (called magi) often led in the persecution of Christians.

A consistent, region-by-region persecution of Christianity started in Persia around 340 AD and lasted for over 40 years. It’s estimated that as many as 190,000 Persian Christians were martyred during this time – far worse than anything ever experienced in Rome (Samuel Hugh Moffett, A History of Christianity in Asia, Vol 1, 144). And yet, in all this time, though the church was decimated in terms numbers, conversions continued and the Gospel spread. Like a twisted version of Whack-a-Mole, every time the authorities cut down one Christian leader, another would spring up somewhere else.

The Muslim iteration of the Persian Empire took a more ‘tolerant’ approach. Though pagan worshipers were fair game for forced conversions, Christians and Jews were permitted to maintain their religion under Islamic rule. In fact, Muslim rulers were typically happy to have Christian citizens, since Christians made up their own special tax bracket, which made them especially useful to those who were living off of taxes.

But this new peaceful life came at a cost for Christians.

The first element was that Christians were commanded: “You shall not display the cross in any Moslem town, nor parade your idolatry, nor build a church…nor use your idolatrous language about Jesus the Son of Mary to any Moslem.” (A.S. Tritton, The Caliphs and their Non-Muslim Subjects, 13f). Christians were tolerated as long as they kept their religion to themselves, out of the public sphere (sound familiar?) and did not try evangelizing any Muslim. Those who did not obey were efficiently executed. Christians had a simple choice: they could continue evangelizing and die, or keep quiet and be left alone.

(see link)
http://www.christianity.com/church/persecution/how-islam-conquered-christianity.html
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Re: How Islam Conquered Christianity

Post by Jarhead on Sun Jul 27 2014, 06:18

Taken a couple of hundred years, but it's becoming that way in the U.S..
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Re: How Islam Conquered Christianity

Post by Tryphosa on Sun Jul 27 2014, 07:22

Jarhead wrote:Taken a couple of hundred years, but it's becoming that way in the U.S..

Yep, it's lookin' familiar.
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