Is it Possible to Have Peace between Christians and Muslims?
by Rick Love
A couple weeks ago I spent three of the most intense and exciting days of my life making peace in a city in Central Java, Indonesia called Purwokerto (more in my first post about the trip). Everywhere I went I told my favorite stories from our work in Peace Catalyst International and shared key verses from the Bible about peacemaking.
On the first evening I spoke at a talk show to an audience of 240 Christians and Muslims on the topic, “Is it possible to have peace between Christians and Muslims?”
The next day I spoke five times: to an Interfaith group of religious leaders representing every faith in the city, to three Islamic boarding schools (called Pesantren), and at a church. But I must confess that speaking to Islamic students at the Pesantren was by far the most fun!
Then on my last day I met with Islamic scholars from the prestigious Muhammadiyah University in the morning. In the evening I met with nine pastors to discuss peacemaking and what we could do together in the future.
Virtually every Muslim I met loved the stories I told and nodded their approval when I shared verses about peacemaking from the Scripture. They were eager students who desired peace. I know that not all Muslims are like this. But the vast, vast majority are.
So… “Is it possible to have peace between Christians and Muslims?” My answer is and was a resounding yes! Christians can live at peace with the vast majority of Muslims. Why? Because we live by the truths in these four verses, which I shared everywhere I went:
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9)
- Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)
- Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44)
- If possible, so far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18)
Even if one disagrees with my assessment of Muslims, I think we can all agree on the clear teaching of the Prince of Peace.