Islam in the 20th Century

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Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the three largest and oldest religions in the world. The Old Testament, part of the Bible, recounts the Hebrews’ connection with God. The Ten Commandments, also followed by Christians, establish rules against immoral acts such as theft and murder. Both Christianity and Islam originated from Judaism. All three religions share a belief in one God (monotheistic). Christianity later split into Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. During the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, Western Europe divided into Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Meanwhile, Islam emerged in Arabia and rapidly expanded to control an area larger than that of the peak Roman Empire within a century.

Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion that is based on the teachings found in the Torah. It asserts that Jews are chosen by God, as indicated in the Old Testament. This faith believes that Moses served as a means of divine communication, providing moral guidelines, rules for family relationships, and worship practices. Additionally, the Old Testament tells the story of Moses leading tribes out of Egypt to establish their own kingdom in the Promised Land. Despite facing discrimination and being dispersed across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East over many years, Jews have consistently maintained their shared beliefs and ethnic identities tied to their religion. There are three branches within Judaism: Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. Observing Saturday as a holy day and celebrating traditional holidays such as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are important aspects of Jewish practice. Many Jews believe that God promised them Palestine which led to Israel becoming a Jewish nation through Zionism movement. Both Christianity and Islam can trace their origins back to Judaism.

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Christianity is a religion centered around Jesus Christ’s teachings and divinity. It originated in the Middle East and has spread to Europe and the Americas, becoming the predominant faith. Devout followers view Jesus Christ as God’s Son who came to Earth to share his teachings and offer eternal life. According to scripture, he was crucified for his beliefs and then ascended into heaven miraculously.

There are two main branches of Christianity: Protestantism and Catholicism. In the 16th century, Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation, which caused a split within the Catholic Church due to perceived corruption. Luther’s writings, including his 95 theses, were widely disseminated through printing press technology. This resulted in many regions in Northern Europe separating from Catholicism and establishing their own Christian denominations.

Both Christians and Protestants believe that those who are baptized, have faith in God, and follow Christian teachings will experience an afterlife in heaven. The Bible is universally recognized as Christianity’s sacred text.

Islam, a religion centered around the teachings of Muhammad, holds dominance in several regions, including the Middle East, parts of Southern Asia, southeastern Europe, and Northern Africa. Its followers, known as Muslims, believe in one God and recognize Muhammad as the prophet. They adhere to the sacred texts of the Koran, which bear resemblance to the Bible and Old Testaments for Jews and Christians. Muslims are obligated to follow the Five Pillars of Wisdom: belief in Allah, daily prayer, acts of charity, fasting during Ramadan, and performing at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in their lifetime.

Islamic fundamentalism is a religious movement characterized by a literal interpretation of religious texts and strict adherence to Koranic doctrines and customs. This movement is experiencing growth within various regions in the Middle East. In traditional Islamic societies, women hold an inferior status but still possess legal rights such as property ownership and inheritance. The Koran emphasizes men’s responsibility for guiding and protecting women; however, in fundamentalist areas,women may be confined within their homes.

Similar to Christianity’s division into different sects or denominations,Islam likewise comprises two main religious groups: Shiites and Sunnis.

Palaganas, Patrick’s “The Birth of Islam” was published in 1992.

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Islam in the 20th Century. (2018, Sep 06). Retrieved from

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