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Conflict, theology and history make Muslims more religious than others, experts say
A recent global survey suggests that Muslims are more religious than Christians and Hindus.
December 3rd, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Conflict, theology and history make Muslims more religious than others, experts say

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Every religion has its true believers and its doubters, its pious and its pragmatists, but new evidence suggests that Muslims tend to be more committed to their faith than other believers.

Muslims are much more likely than Christians and Hindus to say that their own faith is the only true path to paradise, according to a recent global survey, and they are more inclined to say their religion is an important part of their daily lives.

Muslims also have a much greater tendency to say their religion motivates them to do good works, said the survey, released over the summer by Ipsos-Mori, a British research company that polls around the world.

Islam is the world's second-largest religion - behind Christianity and ahead of Hinduism, the third largest. With some 1.5 billion followers and rising, Islam's influence may be growing even faster than its numbers as the Arab Spring topples long-reigning secular rulers and opens the way to religiously inspired political parties.

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But while there's no doubt about the importance of Islam, experts have different theories about why Muslims appear to be more religious than members of other global faiths - and contrasting views on whether to fear the depth of Muslims' commitment to their faith.

One explanation lies in current affairs, says Azyumardi Azra, an expert on Islam in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim majority country.

Many Muslims increasingly define themselves in contrast with what they see as the Christian West, says Azra, the director of the graduate school at the State Islamic University in Jakarta.

"When they confront the West that they perceive or misperceive as morally in decline, many Muslims feel that Islam is the best way of life. Islam for them is the only salvation," he says.

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That feeling has become stronger since the September 11 attacks, as many Muslims believe there is a "growing conflict between Islam and the so-called West," he says.

"Unfortunately this growing attachment to Islam among Muslims in general has been used and abused by literal-minded Muslims and the jihadists for their own purposes," he says.

But other experts say that deep religious commitment doesn't necessarily lead to violence.

"Being more religious doesn't necessarily mean that they will become suicide bombers," says Ed Husain, a former radical Islamist who is now a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

In fact, Husain argues that religious upbringing "could be an antidote" to radicalism.

American Muslim women who cover explain their choice

The people most likely to become Islamist radicals, he says, are those who were raised without a religious education and came to Islam later, as "born-agains."

Muslims raised with a grounding in their religion are better able to resist the distortions of Islam peddled by recruiters to radical causes, some experts like Husain argue, making them less likely to turn to violence.

But he agrees that Muslims are strongly attached to their faith, and says the reason lies in the religion itself.

"Muslims have this mindset that we alone possess the final truth," Husain says.

Muslims believe "Jews and Christians went before us and Mohammed was the last prophet," says Husain, whose book "The Islamist" chronicles his experiences with radicals. "Our prophet aimed to nullify the message of the previous prophets."

The depth of the Muslim commitment to Islam is not only a matter of theology and current events, but of education and history, as well, other experts say.

"Where religion is linked into the state institutions, where religion is deeply ingrained from childhood, you are getting this feeling that 'My way is the only way,'" says Fiyaz Mughal, the director of Faith Matters, a conflict-resolution organization in London.

The Ipsos-Mori survey results included two countries with a strong link between religion and the state: Legally Muslim Saudi Arabia, which calls itself the guardian of Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina; and Indonesia, home of the world's largest Muslim population.

The third majority Muslim country in the study is Turkey, which has a very different relationship with religion. It was founded after World War I as a legally secular country. But despite generations of trying to separate mosque and state, Turkey is now governed by an Islam-inspired party, the AKP.

Turkey's experience shows how difficult it can be to untangle government and religion in Muslim majority countries and helps explain the Muslim commitment to their religion, says Azyumardi Azra, the Indonesia expert.

He notes that there has been no "Enlightenment" in Islam as there was in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, weakening the link between church and state in many Christian countries.

"Muslim communities have never experienced intense secularization that took place in Europe and the West in general," says Azra. "So Islam is still adhered to very strongly."

But it's not only the link between mosque and state in many Muslim majority countries that ties followers to their faith, says professor Akbar Ahmed, a former Pakistani diplomat who has written a book about Islam around the world.

Like Christians who wear "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets, many Muslims feel a deep personal connection to the founder of their faith, the prophet Muhammad, he says.

Muhammad isn't simply a historical figure to them, but rather a personal inspiration to hundreds of millions of people around the world today.

"When a Muslim is fasting or is asked to give charity or behave in a certain way, he is constantly reminded of the example set by the prophet many centuries ago," argues Ahmed, the author of "Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization."

His book is based on interviews with Muslims around the world, and one thing he found wherever he traveled was admiration for Muhammad.

"One of the questions was, 'Who is your role model?' From Morocco to Indonesia, it was the prophet, the prophet, the prophet," says Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington.

But while Ahmed sees similar patterns across the Islamic world, Ed Husain, the former radical, said it was important to understand its diversity, as well.

"There is no monolithic religiosity - Muslims in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are following different versions of Islam," says Husain. "All we're seeing (in the survey) is an adherence to a faith."

Political scientist Farid Senzai, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, raised questions about the survey's findings.

"Look at the countries that are surveyed - Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Turkey," he says. "There are about 300 million Muslims in those three countries, (who make up) about 20% of Muslims globally."

Islam is "incredibly important" in Saudi Arabia, he says.

"But in Tunisia or Morocco you could have had a different result. It would have been nice if they had picked a few more Arab countries and had a bit more diversity," says Senzai.

The pollster, Ipsos-Mori, does monthly surveys in 24 countries, three of which are majority Muslim – Turkey, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The other countries range from India to the United States, and Mexico to South Korea, and are the same each month, regardless of the subject the pollsters are investigating.

In the survey released in July, about six in 10 Muslims in the survey said their religion was the only way to salvation, while only a quarter of Hindus and two out of 10 Christians made that claim about their own faiths.

More than nine out of 10 Muslims said their faith was important in their lives, while the figure was 86% for Hindus and 66% for Christians.

Ipsos-Mori surveyed 18,473 adults via an online panel in April and released the findings in July. Results were weighted to make the results as representative as possible, but the pollster cautioned that because the survey was conducted online, it was harder to get representative results in poorer countries where internet access is not widespread.

CNN polling director Keating Holland also warns that in an "opt-in" survey, where respondents actively choose to participate, results tend to come from "people who are confident in their opinions and express them openly... not good for intensely private matters like faith or income or sex."

Online surveys in countries that are not entirely free are also open to the possibility that pollsters get "the approved response" in those nations, "where the people who are most likely to be willing to talk about such matters are the ones who hold, or at least verbalize, opinions that won't get them in trouble if they are expressed," Holland says.

That may have been an issue in Saudi Arabia, where respondents were given the choice of not answering questions on religion due to their potential sensitivity in the kingdom. The Saudi sample was the smallest, with 354 participants, meaning "findings for Saudi Arabia must be treated with caution," Ipsos-Mori said.

About 1,000 people participated in most countries, but sample sizes were smaller in the three majority Muslim countries and in eight other countries.

The survey participants did not reflect the true percentage of Christians and Muslims in the world. Christians were over-represented – as were people who said they had no religion – and Muslims were under-represented.

Nearly half the respondents identified themselves as Christian. Eleven percent were Muslim, 4% were Buddhist, 3% were Hindu and 3% were "other." A quarter said they had no religion and 6% refused to say.

Fiyaz Mughal, the interfaith expert, argues that even though the countries surveyed might not be representative of the entire Muslim world, the findings about Muslims rang broadly true. Muslims in different countries were committed to their faith for different reasons, he says.

"Saudi Arabia is an institutionally religious state. Indonesia has religion tied into its culture," says Mughal.

But Muslim immigrants to Europe also show strong ties to their religion, either as a defense mechanism in the face of a perceived threat, or because of an effort to cling to identity, he contends.

He detects a link between insular communities and commitment to faith regardless of what religion is involved. It is prevalent in Muslim Saudi Arabia, but he has seen it among Israeli Jews as well, he says.

"The Israeli Jewish perspective is that (the dispute with the Palestinians) is a conflict of land and religion which are integrally linked," Mughal says.

"What does play a role in that scenario is a sense of isolationism and seclusion in Israeli Jewish religious communities, a growing trend to say, 'Our way is the only way,'" he says.

Religious leaders of all faiths need to combat those kinds of attitudes because of the greater diversity people encounter in the world today, he argues.

They have a responsibility to teach their congregations "that if they are following a religion, it is not as brutal or exclusive as possible," Mughal says. "Things are changing. The world is a different place from what it was even 20 years ago."

Politicians, too, "need to take these issues quite seriously," he says.

"In the Middle East there are countries - the Saudi Arabias - where you need to be saying that diversity, while it may not be a part of the country, is something they have to deal with when moving in a globalized area," he says.

But Senzai, the political scientist, says that it's also important for the West to take the Muslim world on its own terms.

"Many Muslims want religion to play a role in politics," he says. "To assume that everyone around the world wants to be like the West - that they want liberal secular democracy - is an absurd idea."

- CNN's Nima Elbagir and Atika Shubert contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: 9/11 • Islam • Middle East

soundoff (5,459 Responses)
  1. VA Very Ex Republican

    @Colin
    The very simple, if politically uncomfortable, answer is a lack of education. The more educated a person is, the less likely they are to believe in the supernatural. Muslim countries tend to be less educated than the West, hence their greater propensity to belive in sky-fiaries.
    ====================================================================================================

    A perfect display of how ignorants Americans are. less educted than the west. how about some statistics that proves other wise like Muslims and people in from Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent is 10 times more educated than the West (US in particular) how about most educted people/Muslims spek 2 languages while most people here speak just one. I am so sick and tired of ready comments coming from a Joe and Jane who many never ever crossed the border of their state or traveled oversees forming an opinion about other cultures. opinion based on hate rather than facts. The US is the nation with the least readers and people who read for the love of reading therefore they are the least informed and the most ignorants. your arrogance make me sick.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Colin

      VA – I assume you made up the 10x statistic. Look at the World. Muslim countries rate toward the bottom in terms of quality of life, standard of living, individual freedoms, rights of women, level of ppolitical corruption and credit worthiness of the govenment. Only Black Africa is worse.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  2. Colin

    Islam is the belief that an all-knowing, immortal super-being, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, whispered the secrets of life, death and everything to a dirty 6th Century Arab pedophile in a cave.

    Atheism is the belief that the above belief is silly.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  3. Bugsey

    If you're born in a Muslim country, you had better be and live as a Muslim. Anything else would not be tolerated. Your life would literally be in danger, especially if you're a woman.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • faten

      @Bugsey.... I used to think the same, until I actually visited Jordan and Palestine.... I think you do research or see it for yourself, you will start to ask how is this? why is this? when was this? You will eventually see for yourself (and not just what others say) the Truth! So stop labeling Muslims ...(if there's anything backward there it is mainly greed/politically motivated, not religious)...

      December 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  4. SAWolf

    Claiming your belief system is the only valid path and committing violence against those of different beliefs isn't religious. Its xenophobic.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • ALI

      the two party at war commit thier own tecticle sins keep it out of relegion

      December 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  5. gretchen

    There are secret missions in many places as we speak where funds are being given to people victimized brutally by islam. There are high-tech and easy-to-hide methods right now as we speak, to reach people with decent programming so they have something besides the islamic hate messages on their countries' airwaves. There are mercy-based groups reporting regularly on what is secretly done to help those brutalized by islam in many nations. It all has to be done secretly because of the serious and real danger in islam-contolled areas of being found out as being in opposition to islam in any way. No major news agency will publish the full truth about this madness that leaves innocents in a path of blood and anguish. We now have a president here in the US who is in reality a muslim. He has done all he can to show respect for this horrific religion, while clecerly masquerading as a Christian in order to keep the masses in the US unaware of what he really believes. He has consistently shown that he is pro-islam, one just has to pay close attention to what he says. He is very lukewarm about Christianity, having mocked it in a way he never would consider doing to islam. He knows where his bread is buttered. The US has yet to wake up to what it has done electing him. The US desperately needs to get its own spiritual moorings back and appreciate its own heritage. The islamic nations are hoping we never will.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Thinkosobox

      Oh yeah, a president who is Muslim...you make laugh dude, and what if he was...fake A$$ like you dont have a problem when your country is run by Jews, Congress, Media, Hollywood, Finance, name it..., you have no problem when America is manipulated by these Jewish elites to send American Troops to be killed in wars they have no purpose for, American Tax money to protect and pay for Israel's sneaky world politics...like we say "they jimmy with the thieves and cry with the people that got their property stolen" – Cut out the hypocrisy please, you damn well know that there is a propaganda to dirty up the image of Islam, problem is, more people are embracing Islam not because they are fooled but out of conviction, solid conviction. Check this video in Y/Tube – Do Jews Control the Media? - The LA Times Says Yes! and this "Max Blumenthal exposes the anti Islam industry in America on RT News!! "

      December 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Sherman

      You know even were this true, the US Presidency is a puppet office in controlled by the pentagon and the cia. There is no agenda foreign and domestic agenda is restricted to controlling congress and us. we know it we are working on it, please give us time and we will emerge better faster stronger and the best friend the rest of the planet ever had. and they all lived happily ever after.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  6. ALI

    God asked satan to prostrate to the creation of Adam and he refused stating that Adam was made of clay while he was out of fire and comperatively he is better... God said you go down from among the angels for you show sign of arrogance and you are not going to be among the piouse angels... He refused the order! but he was kicked out for not prostrating to Adam hey adam are you in denial to not prostrating infront of the lord???

    December 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • James

      Adam was a monkey man just like you, you don't believe in evolution, gimme a break are you that stupid?

      December 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • ALI

      ok James that is funny bro

      December 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • James

      Glad you find humour in that fact 🙂

      December 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  7. RoninCalifornia

    I don't believe they are more "religious" as much as they are more "fanatical". There is not difference between their politics and their religion (no separation of church and state, if you will).

    December 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Thinkosobox

      What happened folks? you can't stand it because "TRUE" Muslims are more committed to their beliefs more than any other religion? Simply because it is the just and true religions, not only the one of Mohammed, but way before him, it was Abraham's, Mose's, Noah's, Jesus and all other prophets. You ignorant think that Islam came with Mohamed, ask what it means first, it simply mean that it is a faith of someone who submits to God, just like how Abraham, Mose, Noah, Jesus...all of them submitted their faith to God, you fools think Judaism or Christianity is a religion? better do your homework so that you lean you was "JUDA"ism, and who were the "CHRISTIANS"ism, those were people like you and me, not a faith, not a religion. And please have constructive comments instead of insulting Prophet (Mohamed) when you ignore everything about him, educate yourself: Michael Hart's book – list of 100 most influential persons in history:
      #1 Prophet Muhammad
      #2 Isaac Newton
      #3 Jesus Christ
      #4 Buddha
      #5 Confucius
      #6 St. Paul
      #7 Ts'ai Lun
      #8 Johann Gutenberg
      #9 Christopher Columbus
      #10 Albert Einstein

      December 3, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Thinkosobox

      James – What an ignorant person with little brain you are, all of the prophets were proven wrong 🙂 you are so pitiful...When prophets Jesus was sent to earth, he simply told everyone, I believe in all the previous prophets and their teachings and I am bringing and enhancing new laws and teaching. Ask yourself? what makes Jesus god? No biological father? I say Adam is even a greater God because he had no biological father nor a mother...feel me? DO you know that the bible was written 4000 years after Jesus was gone? and how many versions are they...? hmmm let me think...Mucho me Amigo 😉 FYI, how many versions are there of the Quran? ONE and only ONE, never changed, never altered, EVER. Go educate yourself, you might sleep less stupid tonight

      December 4, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Mosihasteen

      So just because Michael Hart makes a top ten list of historical who's whos doesn't mean it is absolute. If Mohammed is the most influential person throughout history it is because of the misery, suffering, war and murder his so-called religion has wreaked on others. NOT because he has been a benefit in any way shape or kind to humanity's pursuit of peace and happiness.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  8. shankar

    Because the muslims are so suppressed and no where to turn they turn to their god with no face.. I am sad for them

    December 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • ALI

      becuse there is more truth to Islam then any other relegions

      December 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Okal

      Your name is a name of a famous pirate in one of my childhood cartoons. And this perfectly explains your ignorance LOL

      December 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • ALI

      funny buddy but to tell you the truth my friends call me Ali baba with love... life is good dude!

      December 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • faten

      Why sad for them? Muslims are actually sad for your kind that commit suicide when tragedy hits.......

      December 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  9. truthtolight

    excuse me, but please, before you paint me out to be something that i am not as a Muslim, know that i served my country in the USAF for 9 years (98-07), was a Staff Sergeant stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq supervising young, Christian troops, am in college on my GI Bill studying to be an Ethnomusicologist, produce music, love record digging, and travel to other, different countries whenever i get the chance. i practice yoga (though some Muslims would object to it)and have friends from every religion out there.....ranging from Buddhism, to Hindu, to Christian, to Baha'i. My Mother raised me to accept all peoples, and though my voice cannot speak for every Muslim out there (esp. those who are bent on destruction) know that I strive every single day to exhibit the best of my faith. if you don't like me simply because of what i believe, fine. i really don't mind.....but please know that there are those of us out there who are NOT cut from the same clothe as those that get the negative press are.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Dr.Sara

      Totally agreed with u, man.......Apparently u r such an intelligent and open-minded man......Two thumbs up! Seems like all those journeys that u had because Uncle Sam had sent u really worth every pennies!!! 🙂

      December 3, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  10. Kelcy

    Perhaps they are more religious because it is that or be killed.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Okal

      "There is no compulsion in religion" Quran 1:256. Thank you.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Dood

      Exactly what I was thinking. No free will, which in itself is evil and not what I believe God intended for man.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • deecarter

      There is no compulsion in religion. 2:256....but then it also says ...Allah loveth not the disbelievers. 3:32
      but then wait maybe you are free....Whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. 18:29 , but then wait maybe not....He loveth not the disbelievers. 30:45 .........plus endless other contradictions...go google Ali Sina, and read how he debates with muslim "scholars" see how they always do what other muslims do when debating, always turn it around and question christianity, or use the quran to try and prove the quran. So if I wrote a book 1400 years ago and said unicorns existed, and when somone questionned me, would I be able to say "well the unicorn book was written 1400 years ago, and it says unicorns went to a cave, and the angel talked to the illiterate unicorn, and said "read", and unicorn starts reading and writing, and he wrote this book, and its the truth" passage 123, Unicorns exist. passage 234, unicorns are everywhere. So if the unicorn book says it exist, and the bible has changed 50 times since it was written then obviously unicorns exist, this is the truth, you can't refute it, we know its the truth......um kr@zy ...like how do they crazy muslims not realize that they are saying this exact thing? nuts

      December 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  11. Bort

    Religion is for the weak. They're all the same c.r.a.p. Muslims just happen to be the whackiest. They're very good at staying in the stone ages.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Ed

      You almost hit the reason. Education. They are uneducated. If they would go to school and LEARN something things would change.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Okal

      You probably worship your xBox....

      December 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Okal

      @Ed did you know that 7 out of 10 american highschoolers can't locate Canada on a map? yeah, talk about mixing religion and culture. Dimwit

      December 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Shivaram

      Maybe you need more schooling so that you can get enough educations to think straight with soberly manner.....Btw, my suggestion to u. Take this class: 'Critical Perspective in Society'.....so u can be a little smarter and a little educated and stop being ignorant.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Wang Chung

      I'd say that L. Ron Hubbard oine is the wackiest, closely followed by Mormonism.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And many Canadians are very happy that many Americans cannot find Canada!

      December 4, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Sarah

      @HotAirAce ha! That was funny. True, I'm sure, but made me LOL. Thank you!

      December 4, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  12. Scholar

    They are told to pray several times each day and in a prescribed manner and they attend mosques in great displays of piety.
    Christians have more of a history of private prayer, as in Matthew 6:6.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Okal

      Christian's prayer is called supplication in Islam. But you have a great point.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  13. tech-know

    This article servey is false. Being in many Muslim countires it is very apparent that majority are not followers of Islam and they are obligated by how their society/neighbour will judge them. If they want to advance in their job or get their voice heard they must play the game and pretend. It is very sad !!!

    December 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Okal

      Proof?

      December 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • jas

      and what muslim countries might those be??? islamic republic of nowhere i suppose

      December 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  14. Gary

    Is it more religious to blow someone up?

    December 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Phil in Oregon

      it's more blessed to blow others up than to be blown up.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Okal

      I guess molesting other boys seems to be religious in some religions *ahem*

      December 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • James

      yes Sheiks keeping boy harems is gross

      December 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  15. Alex

    I think the concepts of Islam make more sense than other religion .There is a distinction between fundamentalism Islam and Islam exactly the same like in Christianity and fundamentalism Christianity .

    December 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  16. Rob0rah

    I guess it's just because they dont have much of anything else going for them!

    December 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  17. Meki60

    Because its slavery

    December 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Phil in Oregon

      the doubters have mostly been weeded out by killing them.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Ad

      Really? I'm a Muslim, and I don't recall ever being a slave.

      I am shocked to see so much ignorance here. Seriously, you guys are so uneducated about the world. It's really sad.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Meki60

      Ad: I doubt that you are a muslim, but if you are, I feel sorry for you.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • faten

      @Meki60..... Even if he/she weren't Muslim, the truth prevails.... Another thing, Muslims don't wait for for people like you to be sorry for them

      December 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • faten

      @Meki60..... Even if he/she weren't Muslim, the truth prevails.... Another thing, Muslims don't wait for for people like you to be sorry for them...

      December 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  18. swohio

    Jesus Christ was more than simply a prophet. He was God in the flesh who gave his life for us, and was resurrected from the dead. Christianity is indeed the only true religion that offers salvation to mankind.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Gary

      True

      December 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • bits-n-kibbles

      And what do you think a Muslim would say? The exact same thing about their religion.

      Saying things like that will put us back into the crusades. Tolerance people. Tolerance.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • opkode

      That's your opinion.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Sam

      Saying god is a flesh, makes him unworthy of worship. Humanizing god was created for simplicity. Humans are week, its rude to call god a human with flesh.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • jas

      Gods dont die

      December 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  19. James

    Be quite, Islam states have wars same as any other nation. Just this one follows a "Prophet" that was a hippocrate (more wives than he allows in his religion) a murderer and pedophile. Your stupid to follow the word of someone like that.
    Satan has fooled you and your religion was made up because of jealousy of the power of a peaceful religion.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Ad

      I think you should learn to spell.

      December 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • James

      Good, your right... lame

      December 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • CJ

      Hippos on crates? Hippocrates? I am having trouble deciphering your drivel.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  20. Bill

    what happens when these religious nuts run out of virgins in their afterlife. Self gratification for eternity?

    December 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • terrill

      Self gratification for eternity? sounds like my idea of paradise, but i'm a loner.

      December 4, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.