Comparison Charts

Compare Christianity and Islam

Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions in the world. To illustrate the similarities and differences between these religions, the following charts compares the origins, beliefs and practices of Christianity and Islam.

etymologyfollowers of Christ (Greek christos, Messiah)Arabic, "submission"
adherents calledChristiansMuslims
date foundedc. 30 CE622 CE
place foundedSouthern Levant (modern-day Israel, Palestine, and Jordan)Arabian Peninsula
languagesAramaic and GreekArabic
foundersJesus, Peter, PaulMuhammad
expansionwithin 60 years, churches in major cities in Palestine, Turkey, Greece and Rome; entire Roman Empire by end of 4th cent.within 12 years, entire Arabian peninsula; within 100 years, Muslim world stretched from the Atlantic to China
schismsCatholic-Orthodox (1054); Catholic-Protestant (1500s)Shia-Sunni (c. 650 CE)
branchesRoman Catholic; Eastern Orthodox; ProtestantSunni (majority), Shi'a, Sufism
main locationsEurope, North and South America, AfricaMiddle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia
adherents (world)2.2 billion1.6 billion
adherents (USA)159 million3.3 million
adherents (Canada)21 million500,000
adherents (UK)51 million
textsBible (Hebrew Bible + New Testament)Qur'an (sacred text); Hadith (tradition)
Hebrew Biblecanonical; called "the Old Testament"noncanonical and corrupted but useful as a inspired text
Apocryphacanonical (Catholic) or useful but noncanonical (Protestant)noncanonical
New Testamentcanonicalnoncanonical and corrupted but useful as a inspired text
creedsApostle's Creed, Nicene CreedSix Articles of Faith
religious lawcanon law (Catholicism)Sharia
religious authorityBible (all), ecumenical councils and creeds (Catholic and Orthodox), papal decrees and canon law (Catholic), continuing revelations (Pentecostal)Qur'an, Hadith
scriptureviews vary: most believe inspired by God; some believe literal Word of God, inerrant in original languagesinspired, literal word of God; inerrant in original language
prophetsBiblical prophets were true prophets of GodBiblical prophets were true prophets; Muhammad is the final and greatest
god(s)One God, who is a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; angels; demons; saintsOne God (Allah in Arabic); the same God revealed (imperfectly) in the Jewish and Christian Bibles
spiritual beingsangels and demonsangels, demons, jinn
revered humanssaints, church fathersprophets; imams (especially in Shia Islam)
MessiahJesus Christ is the Messiah awaited by the JewsSunni: the Madhi (Messiah) will come in the future; identity is known only to Allah; Shi'a: was born in 869, is now the Hidden Imam
JesusSon of God, God incarnate, Word of God, Messiah, savior of the worldtrue prophet of God, whose message has been corrupted
birth of Jesusvirgin birthvirgin birth
death of Jesusnormal death plus spiritual sufferingJesus did not die, but ascended bodily into heaven (a disciple died in his place)
resurrection of Jesusaffirmedrejected, because Jesus did not die; he ascended into heaven during crucifixion
second coming of Jesusaffirmedaffirmed
revelationthrough Prophets and Jesus (as God Himself), recorded in Biblethrough Muhammad, recorded in Qur'an
human natureCreated good but all inherit "original sin" from Adam, causing a tendency to evilborn with equal ability to do good or evil
salvationcorrect belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (Protestants emphasize faith alone)correct belief, good deeds, Five Pillars
predestinationaffirmed by most denominationsaffirmed
afterlifeResurrection of body and soul; eternal heaven or hell (most denominations); temporary purgatory (Catholicism)eternal Paradise or eternal Hell
view of Christianitytrue religionrespected as fellow "People of the Book" but have wrong beliefs and only partial, corrupted revelation
view of Islamrespected as a fellow monotheistic religion, but Muhammad is not seen as a true prophettrue religion
view of Judaismtrue religion but with incomplete revelationrespected as fellow "People of the Book" but have wrong beliefs and only partial, corrupted revelation
house of worshipchurch, chapel, cathedral, basilica, meeting hallmosque
day of worshipSundayFriday
clergy/leaderspriest, bishop, archbishop, patriarch, pope, pastor, minister, preacher, deaconimams
practicesPrayer, Bible study, baptism, Eucharist (Communion), church on Sundays, numerous holidays. Five Pillars: Faith, Prayer, Alms, Pilgrimage, Fasting. Mosque services on Fridays. Ablutions before prayer. No alcohol or pork. Holidays related to the pilgrimage and fast of Ramadan.
head covering
major holidays
minor holidays
symbolsCross, dove, anchor, fish, alpha/omega, chi rhoStar and crescent; name of Allah in Arabic; color green; mosque silhouette.

Article Info

Title Compare Christianity and Islam
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
MLA Citation “Compare Christianity and Islam.” 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021. <>