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Christian and Muslim faiths

Christianity and Islam are the two biggest religions in the world, with Christianity comprising about a third of the world's population, while Islam boasts slightly less than a quarter of the world's populace. Both religions' origins are associated with Abraham, thus they are considered Abrahamic religions. Most of the world's Muslims reside in Asia and Africa, while Christians are more widely spread around the world in areas such as Europe, the Americas, Oceania, Asia and Africa. Muslims are divided into two major groups - Sunnis, the majority, and Shias, the minority. There are other minority denominations such as Sufi and Ibadi. Christianity is divided largely into three main sects: Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox.

What they have in common

Both religions believe in one god, who is the creator of all living things. Muslims and Christians alike believe in devotion and service to God, as well as doing good in one's life. Both religions have a holy book, called the Qur'an in Islam, and the Bible in Christianity. The respective holy book of each religion is a book of life, instructing people on how to live, and advising them on issues of morality and ethics. Both books have older and newer sections, called the Old Testament and the New Testament in the Bible, while the Qur'an has early and later chapters.

Both religions have an iconic figure who lived on earth and either started or advanced the religion. Christians believe in Jesus Christ who died on the cross and founded the religion, while Muslims credit the Prophet Muhammad as being their principal prophet. Both religions believe that there is life after death and that people advance to heaven after having led a virtuous life on earth.

The differences between them

Islam believes that the Qur'an contains the literal words of God, or Allah, while Christians believe that the Bible was inspired by God. Muslims refute that Jesus, the founder of Christianity, was the Son of God. They regard Him as a prophet.

Christians, on the other hand, believe in the Trinity of God as God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Islam sees this as akin to polytheism.

In Christian religion, other beings, such as angels and saints, can intervene on behalf of a person in a plea to God, while Muslims believe in people's direct access to God, or Allah.

Both religions have numerous special events on their calendar, notably their times of fasting. Muslims fast during Ramadhan, while Christians avoidluxurious foods such as meat during lent. Muslims famously do not eat pork or drink alcohol, and eat only herbivorous meat that has been blessed, called halal meat. The Christian diet is more varied and exclusion of certain items from the diet is a personal choice. Muslims also practice male circumcision, while Christians are more relaxed about the issue.

The two biggest religions on earth have a tremendous amount in common, as well as differences, yet live side by side on the planet.

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