I have been reading some articles on conversion and the religious future in Europe, and would like to start a thread in this.
I would really like for this thread not to turn into a Islam vs Christianity debate !!!
PLEASE! :rollseyes We have threads for that elsewhere.
I also ask participants not to turn this into a 'who-is-pinching-most-converts-of-whom' discussion! Again, you will find them elsewhere.
Instead I would like us to look at what's wrong with our society, and what people are searching for
. I believe that - despite it's marked theological differences - Islam and Christianity have similar moral groundings.
What can our faiths offer to the modern world?
To explain my own thinking, I would like to start by talking about my
generation. this is entirely subjective, and I have no evidence (although I could try and find some ...)
I was born in the sixties. I believe that as a post WWII generation our parents, who had suffered and done without during the war, wanted a better and easier life for their children. Better education, better choices, more freedom etc. ...
I believe that's one of the reasons why the modern thinking has become so liberal. I often feel that our society focuses much on individual rights and choices, but not enough on individual responsibilities and duties!
I wonder whether we are now reaping what we have sown.
I was reading an article by a researcher who looked at young women (in the Netherlands) converting to Islam. I have looked at several sources, and I hope this is a reasonably objective one. The actual paper is unavailable online, but I have found an article, which may be interesting.
This is an Islamic site, but the same article can also be found here:
This is a Christian site.
I believe the article is identical, so it doesn't matter where you read it!:happy:
This excerpt gives in insight into the reasons why young women convert to Islam:
In fact, she explains, she liked the way "Islam demands a closeness to God. Islam is simpler, more rigorous, and it's easier because it is explicit. I was looking for a framework; man needs rules and behavior to follow. Christianity did not give me the same reference points."
Those reasons reflect many female converts' thinking, say experts who have studied the phenomenon. "A lot of women are reacting to the moral uncertainties of Western society," says Dr. Jawad. "They like the sense of belonging and caring and sharing that Islam offers."
Others are attracted by "a certain idea of womanhood and manhood that Islam offers," suggests Karin van Nieuwkerk, who has studied Dutch women converts. "There is more space for family and motherhood in Islam, and women are not sex objects."
That is interesting!
Does this indicate that young people need direction, structure and security?
Does this mean that our liberal, secular society does not provide these things?
I would like to point out at this point that there also seems to be a shift within Christianity. Whereas the attendance in the meainstream churches seems to be reducing, independent, less liberal churches with a stronger community and family base and back-to-basics (i.e. the Bible message) approach seem to be increasing.
Food for thought, I am sure!
What are our responsibilities as followers of our faiths within our secular communities?
I would love to hear your views and see a good discussion develop. :)
Peace to you all! :thankyou: