Christian Minorities in Islamic Countries

Authored by: Clinton Bennett

Routledge Handbook on Christian–Muslim Relations

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138818712
eBook ISBN: 9781315745077
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315745077.ch37

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the current legal and social situation of Christians living in Muslim-majority states. These states range from those that define themselves as Islamic or where Islam is the established or state religion to others that are officially or in practice secular. Examples of the former are Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Pakistan, while examples of the latter include Albania, Bangladesh and Turkey. Indonesia, with the world’s largest Muslim population, officially affirms belief in God as a national principle but effectively operates as a secular state. One barometer of rights and opportunities for Christians in Muslim-majority states that this chapter explores is whether they enjoy any provision for religious instruction in their own tradition within the public education system, and what this instruction comprises.

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