What Can Christians Of The West Do For The Muslim Races Of Turkey? -- By: George F. Herrick

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 061:244 (Oct 1904)
Article: What Can Christians Of The West Do For The Muslim Races Of Turkey?
Author: George F. Herrick

What Can Christians Of The West Do For The Muslim Races Of Turkey?

George F. Herrick

What American missionaries are doing for the Christian races of the Ottoman-empire is well known. Their evangelistic work has developed into churches which are becoming self-supporting and self-propagating, a sure pledge of permanence. Their work of education through schools, once wholly eleemosynary, now shows a total under instruction of twenty-four thousand, while their higher schools and colleges, for both sexes, are filled to overflowing with pay pupils, and the graduates of these institutions are preachers, teachers, physicians, and business men, leaders in society and in affairs; and that quite as much in the Gregorian Armenian, and “Orthodox” Greek communities, from which they come and to which they return, as among the Protestants.

Upon the foundation of the Bible, which the great Bible Societies send forth, in many languages, in numerous editions, one hundred thousand volumes a year, the Publication Department at Constantinople builds up a Christian literature, periodical and permanent. Theirs is the only fountain of wholesome reading of more than ephemeral value. Their average yearly output has been ten million pages.

In recent years hospital and dispensary work has been greatly and most successfully extended, while the emergency work of relief in times of famine, pestilence, and other calamities, sometimes employs well-nigh the whole missionary force, and wonderfully extends the normal influence of the Christianity represented by such philanthropic enterprise. All these lines of work are in evidence and on record, known to observing Christians everywhere.

At present, at least three-fourths of the populations directly under the control of the Ottoman Power are Muslim in religion,—Turks, Arabs, Koords, Circassians, Albanians, and others. What can Christians of the West do for these races? This is no new question. It was asked two generations ago. It is, it has always been, an urgent question. We must confess that there has been much groping for a practical answer.

For missionaries working among the adherents of another religion than their own, it is necessary not only to become thoroughly acquainted with that religion, but also to come into sympathy with that religious sentiment which is everywhere found; and this sympathy will become deeper and more yearning where the religious spirit has become stifled or atrophied by the blind guides, who have undertaken to direct, and by the baleful narcotics which have attempted to satisfy, religious aspiration.

Whatever may be true concerning other Oriental religions, no charge of vagueness can be made ag...

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