Without a doubt Christianity is the largest team in the world. God has so blessed this religion that it can now be represented by hundreds of dogmatic denominations. Spanning from The Russian Orthodox Church to Shakers to Jehovah Witness to Episcopal to Westboro Baptist Church and all the variation in between. According to the website adherents.com Christianity makes up about 2.1 billion of the planets population.
Coming in at number two, but gaining fans fast, is the religion of Islam. They are made up of a bit more cohesive group since the only way you can really understand it is to learn a 1400 plus year old language that is suppose to be God's special way he talks to the rest of the billions of people on the planet. [ Just an aside, It seems God would have wrote this in the most commonly used language in the World. Or at least did it in multiple languages at the same time.] I am sure that what we call English did not even exist that long ago.
This in of itself brings in difficulties with the words of The Qur'an. First the mere concept of using words to transmit meaning to other humans is one of the poorer methods that can be used. The closer a person is to the person talking to them the more likely they are to understand the words that are being told to them. Face to face discussions are the best. And we all know how bad those can be. But they help to see the facial expressions of the person plus you can ask questions to make sure the message is received properly. Next would be a visual or recorded message. Again the receiver of the message would be able to see the facial expressions of the person speaking but not ask questions of them.
Other better ways of communication than text include the phone, audio messages and pictures. All of these have advantages over simple text communications. Most people have experienced the situation when reading a message and having to ask the person that wrote the note to help decipher the message. That is just a level one transmission of a message. Imagine how much more chances for errors in understanding as the distance from the person creating the message increases in both space and time to the reader. Of course this is an allegorical example but one that we know for certain is that through time words develop more and different meanings. My own language, English, would not be at all recognizable to me as not only did the words have different meanings but the characters to write the words used a different alphabet at that time. English started out using a runic alphabet. At the time Muhammad was getting his dictation lessons from the Angel Gabriel anything written in what we would call English would be mostly unreadable to Today's readers. For an example try reading Beowulf in the original form.
So this is one area that the users of Arabic have an handicap with and hence with The Qur'an itself. Common sense would indicate the passage of time would change the words and meanings of words from the original text. Even if this text was kept as accurate as possible. The passage of time would lead readers of The Qu'ran to have a more modern and hence different meanings of this work of ancient literature. One could argue that if this message was so important to have accurate for all time for the salvation of humanity, the best way to do it would be in the age of modern media where much more than written text could be used to enhance and help make the message truly timeless and clear. After all, an all powerful God should be able to save people that have already died too. No need to risk getting the message wrong by the silly humans that God created. This way God could really be his own man and run the whole production of the message from start to finish.
Anyway, the Muslims have their own sects and divisions as well but due to the language thing it keeps them a bit more on track than Christianity. But even with that in mind there are more than a dozen dialects of Arabic. Some of these speakers are not able to converse with one another while speaking the same language. That would be as if talking to a person from England couldn't understand the English that a person from Texas or South Africa was speaking. But if you wondered how one becomes a Muslim all you have to do is say; “There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet.” Oh, I think you have to say it in Arabic for it to really count though.
Some of the more common devision in Islam include the Shiite and Sunnis. From there you have divisions that include Al-Quada, Hamas, Sufis, Druze and other religious and political Islamic groups.
This group is indeed a go getter when they take the field. They have a special way of governing where they can get enough control to be a government. They invoke sharia law. This special law would be like Christians going back to the Old Testament and carrying out the laws of Leviticus and the rest of the Old Testament. There team believes that Allah is so worried that his faithful male followers are so unable to control their minds when it comes to women that he must have all woman that wish to avoid being raped cover up themselves from head to toe except for their eyes and hands and feet.
I don't know about how powerful Allah is but I have been reading his book and it seems to say he is pretty strong. One would think that a God that can assure 40 to 72 virgins after you die for him would have no problem having his male followers control themselves around women that are naked or any other level of clothing off or on. I wouldn't think that Allah would let that slip his mind when making his literary masterpiece in the desert with the Angel Gabriel.
But on this team uniforms are very important, one would go as far to say life and death for the women that subject to the dogma of Islam. I am not sure if there is a certain color they have to be but I have seen both light blue and black. I would think the Detroit Lions would fit in well with this color scheme. This particular religion is such a slave to fashion, or lack there of, will even hold women that are not from their religion to the same insane standards as the woman that believe in their religion. (See the section DOES ALLAH REALLY CARE? REALLY? in part twenty-seven.)
So the Muslin world has about 1.1 billion to 1.5 billion adherents around the world. Most, of course, are in the Middle East. They also have a large number of adherents in southwest Asia and growing across Europe also. Islam adherents want to have the entire world either become adherents or die. At least their goals are clear enough. Of course this comes at different levels of fortitude of the adherents themselves. But The Qur'an teaches that the eventual position of the infidel is to convert or submit to Islam. The unbeliever is not highly regarded in the religion of Islam.
Coming Next Time:
BELIEVE WHAT? part thirty-three