In the light of the recently publicised case of the British Airways employee who was suspended for refusing to remove or cover the cross she wears on a chain around her neck, this communiqué looks at the meaning of the cross for Christian communities in the Muslim world.
In the West women often wear a cross simply as a fashionable jewelry item, but for Christians in the
While for Muslims the cross is a hated symbol of the “false” religion which the Muslim armies targeted in the first Islamic onslaught and which later responded militarily in the Crusades under this sign, for the long-suffering Christians of the ancient churches in the
For these Christians the cross symbolises the long centuries of persecution and martyrdom, and their loyalty to their Church in the face of Muslim persecution. The cross has come to symbolise the essence of their Christianity and to be the outward identifying mark that distinguishes them from the generally hostile majority.
Muslim hatred for the cross is evident in the hadith (traditions) that foretell the Muslim belief that, in the End Times, Jesus will reappear as a Muslim and will break all crosses. In history for example, Caliph al-Mansur (754-775) forbade the public display of the cross and destroyed the crosses on top of many churches.
Forbidding the public display of crosses continues to be the case in modern day
Coptic Christians in
Do you like what you just read?
Back our investigations with an immediate financial contribution. Spero News operates on the financial support from you and people like you who believe in media independence and free speech.