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How Christians view non-Christian religions

Statements by Christians

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Positive statements by Christians' about other religions:

bullet Gaelscoil Chill Mhantáin is a primary school in County Wicklow, Ireland. It:

"... operates under a joint Catholic/Protestant ethos acknowledging the unique contribution of both traditions in Irish life. The Gaelscoil seeks to promote an understanding and appreciation of worship in both these denominations, while encouraging tolerance and respect for the values and beliefs of others." 1

bullet Johan Candelin, director of the World Evangelical Fellowship's Religious Liberty Commission, in advance of meeting with the Dalai Lama, said:

"Buddhism has had a very peaceful attitude toward Christianity in general, but there are some countries today where tension is growing"

He commented that Evangelical Christians are often criticized for wanting to evangelize the world. "This is sometimes seen as excessive proselytizing or narrow-minded intolerance by non-Christians." 2

bullet World Council of Churches: Interreligious relations & dialogue:

"During the last few decades, questions about religious and cultural pluralism have attracted renewed interest in the churches. Everywhere there is a fresh sense of urgency to build creative relationships between peoples of differing faiths. As interest in dialogue has grown, so has its actual practice, enabling various religious communities to understand one another better and to work more closely together." 3,19

bullet World Council of Churches: Interreligious relations & dialogue:

"People engaged in dialogue have felt their own faith challenged and deepened by the new dimensions of religious life which they have observed, and many find in interreligious encounter a new impetus for doing theology and reviving spirituality. Communities in dialogue function as the leaven in the larger community, facilitating the creation of a society transcending religious barriers." 3

Negative statements by Christians' about other religions:

bullet Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now Pope Benedict XVI, published Dominus Iesus on 2000-AUG-06. He discussed the role of rituals in non-Christian religions:

"... some prayers and rituals of the other religions may assume a role of preparation for the Gospel, in that they are occasions or pedagogical helps in which the human heart is prompted to be open to the action of God. One cannot attribute to these, however, a divine origin or an ex opere operato salvific efficacy, which is proper to the Christian sacraments. Furthermore, it cannot be overlooked that other rituals, insofar as they depend on superstitions or other errors (cf. 1 Cor 10:20-21), constitute an obstacle to salvation. ... If it is true that the followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it is also certain that objectively speaking they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the Church, have the fullness of the means of salvation." 21

bullet Gorge Barna, president of the religious polling company Barna Research said:

"Diversity may be a rallying cry for the politically correct, but for the average American, the acceptance of diversity in religion, as in politics and race, is not a widely embraced notion." 4

bullet David Porter, referring to Neopagans:

"They would claim to be following a Way that predates Christianity and does not need the Christian Revelation...In the biblical view, there is no absolute difference between such beliefs and out-and-out satanism..." 5

bullet William Schnoebelen:

"...the difference between witchcraft or Wicca and satanism is actually non-existent." 6

bullet Pat Robertson:

"It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into [our] institutions [today] are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation." 7

It is worthwhile noting that fumigation does not merely get rid of termites; it exterminates them. Applying Robertson's suggestions would necessitate the murder of 75 to 210 million Americans for thought crimes, depending upon how one defines the term "Christian."

bullet David L Brown,

"... modern day witches and Satanists still worship demon gods & goddesses, practice bizarre & immoral sexual rituals, and certain groups offer animal and human sacrifices." 8

bullet Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue:

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty; we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism." 9

bullet David L Brown:

"Though witches like to make a distinction between themselves and Satanists, there really is NO DISTINCTION biblically speaking...but the power behind Satanism and Witchcraft is the same-Satan... and his demonic hordes." 8

bullet Frank G. Huling:

"They are the two groups in the world, children of God-- those who have received Christ (John 1:12), and the children of the devil--those who reject Christ (John 8:44)." 10

bullet Texe Marrs:

" reality, the New Age simply represents another feeble attempt of the Adversary [Satan] to pollute Christianity, promote immorality and foster unethical attitudes."11

Christian-Jewish dialog and proselytizing:

There is division among Christians about the status of the Judaism:

Southern Baptists and some other conservative Protestant denominations believe in the concept of supersessionism: that God unilaterally abrogated his promises to the Hebrew People, and recognized the Christian Church as the new "spiritual Israel." 12 Thus, Jews are viewed as having the same status as Hindus, Buddhists and other non-Christians: unless they trust Jesus and become saved, they are doomed to spend eternity in Hell. Some statements reflecting supersessionism are:

bullet A former SBC president and founding father of the Christian Coalition, The Rev. Bailey Smith, said, at the 1987 Southern Baptist Convention general meeting, "God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew." He was given a standing ovation. In 1994-JUN-24, during a talk before 15,000 people at a Religious Roundtable meeting in Dallas TX, he said: "With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew." 13 The audience reacted with thunderous applause.
bullet R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY said: "We are firmly convinced that there is salvation in no other name, but we are also confident that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Thus, when most faithful, Southern Baptists are to be found sharing the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. We have no right to exclude Jewish persons from the promise of the Gospel." 14

However, most mainline and liberal Christian denominations feel that God has not abrogated his covenants with the Jewish people. The Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament) describes a path to salvation for Jews, just as the Christian Scriptures (a.k.a. New Testament) describes a parallel path for Christians. Thus, many in these denominations feel that Christians who proselytize Jews are acting in an arrogant manner and are engaging in harassment. Some quotations:

bullet The Alliance of Baptists issued a statement about Jewish-Christian relations in 1995. They asked all Baptists to join them in:

"Affirming...that God has not rejected the community of Israel...'since the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable' "...Renouncing ...religious stereotyping and prejudice...Seeking...a dialogue built on mutual respect and the integrity of each other's faith..." 15,16

bullet The United Church of Canada issued a document in 1998 called "Bearing Faithful Witness: United Church-Jewish Relations Today." It calls on the church to stop trying to convert Jews to Christianity, to reject the concept that Christianity is superior to Judaism, and to reject the concept that Christianity is a replacement for Judaism.17,18


The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Gaelscoil Chill Mhant?n's home page is at:
  2. World Evangelism Fellowship, "Evangelical Protestant cleric to meet with Dalai Lama," News release, 1998-JUN-17.
  3. "What do we do?," World Council of Churches, at:
  4. George Barna, "Christianity Has a Strong Positive Image Despite Fewer Active Participants, 1996-FEB-5, at:
  5. David Porter, "Hallowe'en: Trick or Treat," Monarch Publ., Tunbridge Wells, UK (1993), Page 115.
  6. William Schnoebelen, "Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie," Chick Publications, Chino CA, (1990), Page 9.
  7. New York Magazine, 1986-AUG-18.
  8. David Brown, "The Dark Side of Halloween," essay by Logos Communication Consortium at:
  9. The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1993-AUG-16
  10. F.G. Huling, "Is it Right to Judge?" essay at:
  11. Texe Marrs, "New Age Cults and Religions," Living Truth Publishers," Austin, TX, (1990), Page 25.
  12. "Saving our souls," The Southern Shofar, Birmingham, AL, at:
  13. Quotations by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others, at:
  14. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., "Against the Stream: The Southern Baptist Resolutions," Fidelitas, at:
  15. "Alliance of Baptist statement on Jewish-Christian Relations," at:
  16. "Jewish-Christian Relations," at: This group promotes Christian-Jewish dialogue.
  17. "The United Church of Canada: Bearing Faithful Witness," at:
  18. Joan Breckenridge, "United Church Reaches out to Jews," The Globe and Mail, Toronto ON, 1998-MAY-23, Pages A1 & A10.
  19. The term "pluralism" is ambiguous. It is sometimes used to refer to religious diversity. Other times, it refers to the belief that all religions are true.
  20. Joseph Card. Ratzinger, "Dominus Iesus,"

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Copyright © 1997 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2007-MAR-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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