THE CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY AMONG PEOPLE OF LIVING RELIGIONS
Christians are obliged to convey the message of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ to every person and to every nation. They testify in the context of their neighbors, who live according to other religious beliefs and ideological views. True witness follows Christ in respecting and acknowledging the uniqueness and freedom of others. We must admit that as Christians we have often looked for the worst in others and given a negative assessment of their religions. May we, as Christians, learn to witness to our neighbors in a spirit of humility and joy.
The word works in every human being. In Jesus of Nazareth, the Word became man. The miracle of His ministry of love encourages Christians to tirelessly testify to people of all religions and to those with non-religious beliefs about this great presence of God in Christ. In Him is our salvation. There is still disagreement among Christians as to how this salvation in Christ is valid for all people of different religious beliefs. But everyone agrees that everyone should be testified.
Christians have an assigned position at every opportunity to lend a hand to their neighbors, to work together to build communities of freedom, peace and mutual respect. Somewhere, state law suppresses freedom of conscience and the true exercise of religious freedom. There, Christian churches need to find ways to enter into dialogue with civil authorities to achieve a common definition of religious freedom. With this freedom comes the responsibility to defend together all human rights in these societies. Living with people of other faiths and ideologies is a meeting of the promised. It is also a time when, in a spirit of openness and trust, Christians are able to express their authentic testimony of Christ, Who has called all men to Himself.
God bequeathed us the earth, gave us responsibilities and obligations, without excluding anyone from His providential plan. Christ forbade enmity and abolished privileges and differences, so hatred of people of other ethnicities and religious systems is alien to Christianity, and if problems arise between us, we should solve them with prayer and good. The Christian does not hate anyone and does not fight anyone. Will the unbelievers fall away at God’s judgment? Judging is not ours, but God’s right. Who are we to predict eternal punishment for millions of people? Let us leave the decision to God, even though we know that there is only one truth and it is in the teachings of Christ. God allows the existence of other faiths, and the reasons for us are unknown. A Buddhist or Muslim grows up in his religious environment without being given a choice. However, his very striving for the above-ground, the mystical, the divine is a spiritual merit. The faith of the other, as well as his national traditions, are spiritual values, whatever objections we may have to them. They are the pillars of his personality, on which he builds his life. Did we understand it well? By what right will we insult and insult him? We had better show him the truth of our faith through our deeds. The most cruel and unnatural events in history, when the cry of pain and resentment has reached heaven, are the violent changes of religion or nationality, as well as of names. Violence against the soul is much more terrible than violence against the body. These works of world history are a disgrace to humanity and have nothing to do with the person and teachings of Jesus Christ.