In 1740, Frederick the Great said, “All religions must be tolerated … for … every man must get to heaven his own way.” This defines the purpose of most religions, which is to help people reach an afterlife with their God, and, as such, most monotheistic religions have a great deal in common with only a few differences that set them apart. The religions that developed among Christian societies in Europe and in the Islamic Civilization in the Middle East between the years 600-1200 C.E. are no different in this sense. One man was the central focus of the religious movement in each these two regions, reaching out to the common man. But because of the tremendous following each man inspired, they threatened those in power and they each became the target of a plot to be killed. Additionally, both religions evolved from the lineage of Abraham and the intervention of the angel Gabriel. However, because Muslims believe Muhammad was only a prophet while Christians believe Jesus was the Son of God, variations in their religious practices evolved that set the religions apart. The similarities and differences between the religions of these two regions may be due to their proximity, with Christianity influencing the rise of Islam within a unique culture quite different from the Europeans.
Both Christianity and Islam are monotheistic religions that emerged from the teachings of a single man imparting the Word of God; Christianity from Jesus Christ and Islam from Muhammad. Their message was simple, preaching faith in a single God. But because these men amassed a great following, the political leaders of the time felt threatened and, as a result, attempts were made in both regions to kill the founders, a move based on power and greed. Jesus of Nazareth gained the following of a large number of Jews who abided by his teachings above all else, which the Jewish leaders considered as a direct threat to their power and therefore wanted him killed. Eventually, one of...
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