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Islam is the only post-Christian religion of worldwide scope. The number of Muslims in 1987 was estimated at about 800 million. The countries with the largest groups of Muslims were Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the Soviet Union. As a post-Christian world religion, Islam accepts Jesus as one of the prophets preceding the last prophet, Muhammad. Through Muhammad, Allah has, according to Islamic belief, spoken his final word to the world. This word has been preserved in the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. The word of Allah has become book. Christians have gone astray by deifying their prophet Jesus and by developing a trinitarian concept of God. The crucifixion of Jesus is rejected as contrary to the power and the will of God. Islam emphasizes the freedom and sovereignty of Allah, who requires submission and obedience to his will, expressed in the laws. These laws cover human life in all of its different aspects. The Islamic community, a religious-political community, is regarded as the best of all the communities in the world. It is intended to be a victorious community. One of the reasons of the crisis in modern Islam is the discrepancy between divine intention and historic reality.

Christian missions have not made a deep impact in the Islamic world. Muslims resist Christian missions firmly and change of religion is seen as betrayal of the community to which a Muslim belongs.

Mennonites have also worked among Muslims in different parts of the world. Mennonites in Asiatic Russia settled among Muslim peoples. In Indonesia (on the island of Java) European Mennonites have done mission work. The churches which resulted from this mission effort were exposed to persecution by Muslims in 1942. The Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (Mennonite Church) works among Muslims in East Africa. The Mennonite Brethren have made contact with Muslims in Europe and Pakistan. Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission has planted small churches among Muslims in Burkina Faso. Mennonite Board of Missions (MC) and the Europäisches Mennonitisches Evangelisationskomitee (European Mennonite Evangelization Committee) have contributed to the "Islam in Africa" project, a project to assist churches and missions in their encounter with Islam. In different parts of the Islamic world Mennonite Central Committee has carried out relief and development work (Middle East, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Africa).

See also Animism; Hinduism; Judaism; Shintoism.


Kateregga, Badu D. and David W. Shenk, Islam and Christianity. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980.

Husken, Frans. "Islam and Collective Action: Rural Violence in North Central Java in 1942." Conversion, Competition, and Conflict. Amsterdam: Free University Press, 1984.

Author(s) Rolf S Kuitse
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Kuitse, Rolf S. "Islam." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 16 Jul 2024.

APA style

Kuitse, Rolf S. (1987). Islam. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 July 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 456-457. All rights reserved.

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