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Comparing Muslims and Christians in Two Countries

Number of believers in Afghanistan More than 2 million (Source: Operation World 21st Century Edition) About 3,000 (Source: Operation World 21st Century Edition)
Number of believers in the U.S. Over 4 million (Source: Operation World 21st Century Edition) More than 230 million (Source: Operation World 21st Century Edition)
Number of mosques and churches in Afghanistan Mosques: 48,000 Churches: 0
Number of mosques and churches in the U.S. Mosques: A 2001 study showed there were 1,209 mosques in the U.S. Churches: Approximately 300,000 (Sources include: The World Almanac and Book of Facts and Washington Post)
Beliefs and Practices Although more than 95 percent of the people in Afghanistan are Muslims, many combine Muslim beliefs with traditional folk religion. Folk Muslims often trust in magic, charms, superstitions and powers other than God. More than 80 percent of the people in the U.S. are Christians. About 44 percent of them read the Bible once a week or more. About 43 percent agree strongly that the Bible is accurate in all its teachings. (Source: Barna Research)
Salvation Muslims believe human beings are born sinless. Since they are not fallen by nature, they do not seek a Savior. Without a Savior, they depend on their own good works to please Allah, whom they worship. They hope Allah will let them into paradise when they die if they have done more good works than bad works, but they can’t be sure. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). (See also John 3:16.)

Comparing Atheism and Christianity

God Atheists believe there is no God. God exists and reveals Himself to us through His Word and His creation. (See John 1:1–5 and Romans 1:19,20.)
Evil Some atheists say, “If a good and powerful God existed, He would destroy evil.” God will destroy evil in His time. (See Revelation 20-22; 1 Corinthians 15:24–26; and Matthew 13:24–30,36–43.) God can use man’s evil for good. (See Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28.)
Death Those who die are dead forever, many atheists believe. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Life Some atheists believe that life has no meaning or purpose. God created people so that they could seek, find, and have a relationship with him. (See Acts 17:22–28.)
Numbers The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2004 says there are 1.7 million atheists in North America and 150 million in the world. There are more than 260 million Christians in North America and over 2 billion in the world.

Comparing Zoroastrianism and Christianity

Founder Zoroaster, a man from Persia (Iran). Zoroaster is also called Zarathustra. Jesus Christ, the Son of God
Who they worship A god called Ahura Mazda The God of the Bible, the Creator of the universe
Holy book The Avesta The Holy Bible
Main symbol Fire The cross
What followers are called Zoroastrians (also called Parsees in some places) Christians
Number of followers in the world today Over 2 million, mostly in Asia. (80,000 in North America) Over 2 billion
Salvation Zoroastrians believe the way to heaven is by doing good works to please their god. They believe that “three truths”—Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds—will please him. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Comparing the Beliefs of Terrorists to the Truth

What Do Terrorists Believe?
What is the Truth?
Terrorists think that getting rid of the people in power will solve all their problems.
  • Just as one pill cannot cure all diseases, one kind of action cannot cure all problems.
  • God has placed Jesus “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21, NIV). We can trust in Him. (See Proverbs 3:5.)
Terrorists believe conquering powerful people will bring justice. Many times in history, when an unjust government was forced from power by terrorists, a more unjust one took its place.
Terrorists think overcoming people in power will mean success. Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Terrorists believe the way to get desirable things is to change the world by committing acts of terrorism. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Terrorists hope that committing acts of terrorism will satisfy them. Terrorists who hurt people may feel guilty for the rest of their lives. The families of many terrorists and the families of the people they hurt will be sad because of the evil the terrorists have done.
Terrorists sometimes think that killing people is a service to their religion. Jesus said, “The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:2). However, He said that those who do such things do not know God. (See John 16:3.) God’s Word says, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13.)
Terrorists believe in using anger, hate, and violence to get power. The real secret of power over evil is love, mercy, goodness, good character, and servanthood as Jesus taught. (See Matthew 5:1–14.)

Comparing Beliefs about Suffering: More Than Conquerors

Non-Christian Beliefs
Buddhist Beliefs Buddhists believe that all suffering comes from desires we have. They try to get rid of desire by following “the Eightfold Path” (rules about “right thinking” and “right works”). God creates us with desires, and He fulfills those desires. (See Psalm 37:4.) Believers are “more than conquerors” in suffering (Romans 8:37).
Hindu Beliefs Hindus believe in “reincarnation,” the belief that after people die, they come back to life again as other people or animals. Those who believe in “karma” believe that how someone behaved in a former life makes them what they are in this life. People are born and die only once (Hebrews 9:27); therefore, it is impossible for suffering to be caused by what they did in other lives. (See also John 9:1–3. What did Christ say about the suffering of the blind man?)
Muslim Beliefs Most Muslims believe that all things, both good and evil, are the will of Allah. (Quran, Chapter 9, Verse 51) “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17).