Questions and Answers > Practices of Christians > Peace and Violence

Are Christians more peaceful than Muslims?

1. Introduction

Some Muslims claim that Christians are not better in peace practices than Muslims. They refer to world history and make a comparison between Christian and Muslim countries. However Christian faith is based on a personal decision for every individual. There is no statement in the New Testament that complete countries are Christian. The mistake here lies not in countries but in the word “Christian”. Calling, say, Hitler “Christian” is misleading. The final test is to look for the motivation of a Christian and a Muslim to practice peace.

2. Jesus Christ preached and practiced true peace

Christians are aware that Jesus Christ has established the right path to peace on earth. This can be summarized in his words: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). The word “peace” in the Bible is not mixed with violence as in the Qur’an but the Hebrew word “shalom” means peace, safety soundness, prosperity, wholeness, health, welfare, , perfectness, fullness, rest and harmony, see Ezekiel 34:25-29, Isaiah 11:6-8. Therefore Christians have a biblical tradition with a prophetic linking of justice and peace and the coming Kingdom of God [1].
Doing the Gospel mentioned practices, there will be peace on earth. Love and good will over all the world, and for all the people of the world will exist. The superior behavior is that violent people feel direct that they miss honor and feel shame. The Gospel of Peace is not directed to prosperity, but to peace with God. In cases of conflicts we have confidence. The promises of Jesus Christ are peace in the midst of the storm in the case of problems (Mark 4:37-41). You will have a preview of paradise by peace in our heart.

3. Christian peacemaking practices

In Biblical and disciple making churches, the words of Jesus Christ for peace are fruitful by using practices such as [2]:

- Faith in God as Creator who created every human being (John 1:1-4)
- Looking for righteousness by solving needs of others (John 10:10)
- Self-control and self-discipline against violence (Mark 9:42, John 14:27, 16:33)
- To grow as a peacemaker to reflect God’s Kingdom of divine peace (Mathew 5:9, Mark 9:42, Luke 4:1-13, John 14:27, 16:33)
- Helping enemies to win them for the Kingdom of God (Mathew 5:39)

Above mentioned guidelines a based on the knowledge that peace is more complicated than only a situation without violence. A meaning of peace as only a situation without war, but no justice, materialism, big difference between poor and rich people and preparation of war is a “liar society” [3]. Therefore the Biblical concept of peace is sustainable and reflects the eternal Kingdom of God. A contrast with peace principles in Islam. They allow violence under much more circumstances.

4. Christians are always motivated to peace, Muslims not

For a Muslim it is possible not to be involved to keep peace under all conditions. When a Muslim is in a better position than his enemy he is allowed to use violence: “So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior.” (Qur’an 47:35). Therefore it is possible to use verses in the Qur’an or the acts of Muhammad as source to use violence. For a Christian, this is not possible with the Gospel or the example of Jesus Christ [4]. The result is that a Christian believer reflects the divine peace more than a believer in the Qur’an.

5. Conclusion

A disciple of Jesus Christ has no foundation to use start violence and to work for righteousness, while in the same situation there is for a Muslim a foundation to use violence in the Qur’an. Jesus Christ has the highest level in peace and he is also the best example of peace practices. Therefore Christians are more peaceful than Muslims.


Notes:

1. Susan Thistlethwaite (ed), A Just Peace Church, United Church Press, New York, 1986, 39.
2. M. Gopin, Between Eden and Armageddon: The future of world religions, violence, and peacemaking, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000.
3. Susan Thistlethwaite (ed), A Just Peace Church, United Church Press, New York, 1986, 55.
4. Hans Küng, Islam, Past, Present & Future, Oneworld Publications, 2009, 602.

Qur'an 19:33: Is Jesus peace?