Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Yesterday’s New York Times carried an horrific account of the slaughter of five hundred Christians by Muslim nomads March 7. It begins:

JOS, Nigeria — Dispassionately, the baby-faced young man recounted his killings: two women and one man, first beaten senseless with a stick, then stabbed to death with a short knife.

The man, Dahiru Adamu, 25, was crouching on the floor in the sprawling police headquarters here, summoned to give an accounting of the terrible night of March 7, when, he said, he and dozens of other herdsmen descended on a slumbering village just south of here and slaughtered hundreds with machetes, knives and cutlasses in a brutal act of sectarian retribution.

Meanwhile it was tea and cookies in Germany, where Christian and Muslim theologians met last week to discuss mutual respect under the byword, “Testimony, Yes — Proselytizing, No!”

Muslims and Christians alike find themselves confronted with the difficulty on the one hand to spread the message of their faith, and to recognize the other, the inexorable right to free exercise of religion and theological legitimacy of the other. “Testimony, yes —  active proselytizing, no!” - That was the conclusion of the meeting. Both religions have developed theological approaches that can appreciate the inherent value of the other confession as an enrichment, without relativizng one’s own religious truth. ”Today, to be religious means to be inter-religious!” - So said the Jesuit scholar of Islam, [Papal advisor Fr.] Christian Troll. Conversions possibly could be brought about by God, but not by human effort or strategies.

Doesn’t that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling? The only problem is that there aren’t any Christians left in Germany. If Muslims wished to convert to Christianity, they would have to rebuild the faith from scratch.

There are plenty of Christians in Nigeria, though—71 million by the official count. That’s almost as many as the population of Germany (81 million). Only 4.1% of German Catholics and 1.2% of German Protestants turn up in church on an average Sunday. Maybe the German theologians should hold their next interfaith dialogue in Nigeria.

Ich kann nicht so viel fressen, als ich kotzen moechte — I can’t eat enough to puke as much as I would like to.

00 Days
00 Hours
00 Minutes
00 Seconds
Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before the clock above hits zero.

First Things is proud to be a reader-supported enterprise, and the Spring Campaign is one of only two major reader giving drives each year. It ends on June 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Your gift will fortify First Things to speak boldly on behalf of religious voices in the public square ahead of a pivotal season for our nation and the church.

Please give now.

Make My Gift



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles