Christian-Muslim relations in a post-9/11 world

Earlier this week Christianity Today ran a piece in which they asked three different Christian leaders whether they believed that Christian-Muslim relations have improved since 9/11. Each of them gave three very different responses, which demonstrates just how varied American Christian perspectives are on inter-faith relationships between the world’s two largest religions.

This has certainly been an area of concern for many Christians in recent years. American Muslims have faced persecution, and even threats of violence, sometimes from individual Christians or fringe Christian groups. A Florida pastor recently made international headlines when he planned to stage a Qur’an burning at his church. And there’s no denying that anti-Muslim rhetoric has been ramped up by many of our political and religious leaders.

But there are also reasons for hope.

Despite all of the anger and harsh tones from some, a more civil dialogue is emerging in certain segments of the faith community as Christians and Muslims work to better understand one other. One organization that I am closely tied to, Sudan Sunrise, has even embarked on a project where Darfuri Muslims are working to help South Sudanese Christians build a church. This would have been unheard of ten years ago as the two sides have been embroiled in a devastating civil war that left millions of people dead or displaced. But now, once bitter enemies are working together toward reconciliation!

So what’s your take? Have Christian-Muslim relations improved since the tragic events of September 11, 2001? Or do you struggle to find hope that the two groups can ever coexist?


3 thoughts on “Christian-Muslim relations in a post-9/11 world

  1. Shane, thank you for entering into this conversation. As you and the Christianity Today article hinted at, there seems to be a variety of views, and it all depends on who you pose the question to. Pre-9/11 I don’t remember there being much of a conversation at all between Christians and Muslims (granted I grew up Roman Catholic and we were kind of in a world of our own, but that’s another topic altogether). I think that on some fronts the relations and conversation have gotten better, albeit even if at times its more of a passive acceptance, but there are definitely those in the Christian community who are anti-Muslim. So, as you stated in your last paragraph, there is dialogue, and maybe that’s the point. Maybe the conversation, as long as it is civil and respectful, is the most important piece to the situation.

  2. I truley believe the best way to solve major issues like this is through interaction. Different groups must interact with one another to better understand each other. Forget what you heard on the media, forget what your friend has told you. Go in with a clear and open mind and truly understand the other person. This would also solve problems such as tribalism, racism, etc.

  3. Shane, I’m organizing a conference on Christian-Muslim Relations in the Twin Cities (MN) and I’d like to use the image you have on this page. Do you know who holds the copyright?

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