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Introduction

Definitions of Common Terms

A Brief History

Beliefs and Practices

Differences Between Islam and Christianity

Approaching a Muslim Friend

Conclusion

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A Brief Look at a Non-Christian Religion: ISLAM

Introduction

Islam is not a cult (i.e., a perversion of Christianity) as such but rather is a major world religion fundamentally different from Christianity. Although its base is thought of as primarily in the Middle East and northern Africa, Islam reaches all around the globe and rivals Christianity for the distinction of having the greatest number of followers. The growth of Islam over the last two decades has been phenomenal. In 1990, estimates of the number of those claiming to be Muslim ranged between 400 and 700 million. Today, it is widely thought that there are 1.2 billion plus adherents to Islam. This expansion has been worldwide. Due in large part to enormous waves of immigration from the Middle East region, Islam has been the fastest growing religion in Western Europe and North America for the past ten to fifteen years.

We are going to examine the basic history of Islam, consider the main tenets of the faith, take a look at the major differences between Islam and Christianity, and finally, share a few pointers concerning how to share the gospel with a Muslim acquaintance or friend. In composing this study I drew from several sources including: Two Old Faiths (Chautauqua Press, 1891) by J. Murray Mitchell and Sir William Muir; The Sacred Writings of the World's Great Religions (The Blakiston Company, 1943) by S.E. Frost, Jr.; Handbook of Today's Religions (Here's Life Publishers, Inc., 1983) by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart; What's the Big Deal About Other Religions? (Harvest House Publishers, 2008) by John Ankerberg and Dillon Burroughs; 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus booklet published by the "10/40 Window Project", 1999 & 2000 editions; Breakpoint with Charles Colson articles dated 10/15/2001 thru 10/19/2001; and several other small miscellaneous articles. Because most of the sources had similar information I did not footnote individual items--there was general consensus on most counts. In no way do I claim to be expert in this subject and welcome comment, criticism and correction from those who may have more firsthand knowledge than I.

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