March 14, 2008

Two faiths. One Messiah.


A new film about Jesus Christ has emerged from Iran, and is getting a great deal of attention, including an award from The Vatican for promoting interfaith understanding about a figure important to both Christian and Islamic beliefs. In a striking difference from the Bible, however, the film "The Messiah" extrapolates on elements of the Qu'ran, suggesting that it was not Christ but rather Judas that was crucified after he was transformed by the angel Gabriel into Jesus' likeness. The film also offers two endings, one from a Christian and the other from an Islamic perspective.
I have not seen this film but I applaud any attempt to broker common ground. I suspect that the vast majority of Christian folk have no idea that Jesus actually plays a large role in the Qu'ran, and is revered as a major prophet by Muslims. Indeed, any effort to remind us that we are more alike than different is worth supporting.

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