The Sultanate of Oman points the way?

Good Shep church The Church of the Good Shepherd at Ghala, Muscat, Oman.

Meetings this last week in my old ‘parish’ encourage me to keep on with encouraging a prayer vision (see last blog below).  I have optimistically called it ‘Global Churches mission: U.K. 2015-2020’ in the hope that Christians around the world will pray for Britain as never before.  Why?

The claim has often been made that Islam is a religion of peace.  Two BBC World Service programs early this year explained that the interpretation of the Qur’an of the Ibadi Muslims of Oman is indeed peaceful.  While there are passages in the Qur’an that advocate violence towards the ‘polytheists’, Ibadis understand them to apply only to the time when the followers of Muhammad were defending themselves against the Meccans who were defending the Kabah which was full of idols, from Muhammad’s threat to clear them all out.

There is a different interpretation, whereby anyone other than the ‘purest’ Muslim is a polytheist.  Whether a ‘seceder’, Jew, Christian Yazidi or Hindu, we are all considered polytheists and deserving of death, at whatever time in history.

My December 23rd, 2012 blog records the passing from this world of Bishop Kenneth Cragg.  He for one looked for the day when the Muslim world could accept that the Qur’an does not deny but accepts that Jesus died on the cross and rose to life with his heavenly body, before becoming Judge of the world.  Maybe such denial of the cross only developed after Muhammad’s time?

With my poor intellect I did try to grapple with this, in my “Christians in Oman” book, see Chapter 11, pages 96-7.  Here is a link to the whole book, originally offered in my blog entry for July 5th 2014: