Reason #7 The Spectacular Goodness of Christianity Compared to Other World Religions
of history strongly indicate that evangelical Christianity is unrivaled among
the religions of the world in the areas of compassion and justice.
In their zeal to promote diversity, most influencers in our current culture are careful to represent the Christian faith as just another religion in the world, neither better nor worse than the rest. This, however, has the intellectually stifling effect of blindly crediting other religions for the amazing good Christianity has done in our world, while at the same time blaming Christianity for the cruel violence that other religions have perpetrated. In truth, even a very brief survey of world religions will reveal that Christianity stands far above and in opposition to all the other religions of the world, and should never be grouped together with them.
Very few people today realize that, for centuries, almost half of all the baby girls in ancient China were killed by their parents. Even as late as the 1800s, a survey of forty Chinese mothers found that they had killed 78 of their own daughters, usually by drowning. Additionally, for more than a thousand years, until 1949, little Chinese girls were subjected to “footbinding”—the practice of breaking the bones in the arches of young girls’ feet and tightly wrapping the broken feet in order to make them permanently small and hoof-like. Again, even as late as the 1800s, almost half of the women in China were found to have their feet deformed by this cruelty. Christian missionaries were chiefly responsible for curtailing both of these violent practices in China.
In India, well into the 1800s, it was common for children to be sacrificed to the Hindu goddesses by the thousands. Throughout Hindu history, high-caste Hindus could be found stepping over their low-caste brothers without compassion because their religion taught them that grinding poverty is the karma that poor people actually deserve. As one historian observed, “high-caste Hindus did not organize to assist Dalits (untouchables) before the mass conversion of Dalits to Christianity.” Again, it was Christian missionary activity that inspired changes in Hindu lands for good.
The tribal religions of Africa, South America, and the Pacific Islands are well-known for their cruel barbarism in the forms of “homicide rates that are unheard of in civil societies,” infanticide, rape, pedophilia, domestic violence, intertribal violence, and general violence of every kind. Early missionaries to Polynesia, for example, were shocked to find that two out of three infants in those areas were killed by their own parents, and that sexual abuse of children by adults was considered perfectly normal. The horrible practice of female circumcision has been widespread in Africa from time immemorial, including 29 different countries, and observers of the practice have often admitted to having erotic motivations.
Native American populations, often glamorized as peaceful, were known in history for their human sacrifices (Aztecs), brutal tribal massacres (Yellowknives, Crows, Eskimos), and infanticide of baby girls (Shoshones and Mariames).
Despite all the preferential treatment extended towards Islam in our current cultural atmosphere, the second largest religion in the world is renowned for its abuses of human rights. Atheist Stephen Pinker has correctly argued: “The Muslim world, to all appearances, is sitting out the decline of violence. More than two decades of headlines have shocked Westerners with acts of barbarity in the name of Islam.” A hundred million living Muslim women have endured genital mutilation, Islamic countries were the last in the world to outlaw slavery (Saudi Arabia in 1962 and Mauritania in 1980), and Islamic terrorism and oppression of women is well-documented to this day.
Of course, in European lands where the Christian faith was professed but not obeyed, conditions were sometimes as deplorable as in other nations. To live immorally, in opposition to the dictates of Jesus, is to be unchristian regardless of what religion a person might claim when asked. But wherever a critical mass of New Testament admirers has been reached in any given time and place, violence has been diminished. And as the Protestant missionary movement took hold in the 1800s and 1900s, the effects of biblical Christianity spread to the entire world.
Had it not been for the impact of Christianity (not to be confused with colonialism) in the world, how many Chinese women living today would have been killed by their own religious mothers or had their feet broken and deformed by them? How many more Hindu children would have been sacrificed to the gods, and how many low-caste Hindus in destitution would have been left “untouchable” by the religious leaders of their own homelands? Were it not for the influence of Christianity, how many more tribal brutalities would be being perpetrated even today in South America, Africa, and the Pacific islands?
Detractors may wish to equate the evangelical faith with the other religions of the world, but the actual data shows them to be as different as darkness and light.
The facts of history strongly indicate that evangelical Christianity is unrivaled among the religions of the world in the areas of compassion and justice.