THE battle for religious liberty, freedom of conscience and worship has been age-long and world-wide. Christianity itself has suffered during this struggle; witness the Inquisition, the Crusades and the persecutions of the Middle Ages, as well as the condition of those countries nominally Christian where these great blessings do not yet obtain for all sorts and conditions of men. Bacon in one of his essays says that there wcre "four areas in which it was hard to reconcile sovereignty with liberty; namely, religion, justice, counsel and treasure." Christianity no less than Islam has sometimes failed to solve the difficulty. Religious liberty was purchased at so great a price in the Protestant lands of Europe and America that the principle of religious tolerance is one of our most cherished ideals. The coloured races under British rule in Africa remember the proclamation made by Queen Victoria, when a constitution was granted to Natal in 1842. "There shall not in the eye of the law be any distinction of persons, or disqualification of colour, origin, language or creed; but the protection of the law in letter and in substance shall be extended to all alike." At an earlier date, in 1833, the Government of India Act declared, "No person by reason of his birth, creed or colour shall be disqualified from holding any office," and the Directors of the East India Company in transmitting it to their Agents in India, sent out elaborate instructions in order that "its full spirit and intention might be transfused through the whole system of administration." And they declared that they understood the meaning of the enactment to be that there should be" no governing caste in India; that whatever other tests or qualifications might be adopted, distinctions of race or religion should not be of the number; that no subject of the king, whether of Indian or British or mixed descent should be excluded from any post in the covenanted or uncovenanted service.

The Queen's proclamation after the Mutiny in India set forth


most admirably the right attitude of Western governments toward those of other than the Christian faith; "Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Christianity, and acknowledging with gratitude the solace of religion, we disclaim alike the right and desire to impose our convictions on any of our subjects." The terms of the proclamation proceeded: "We declare it to be our royal will and pleasure that none be in any wise favoured, none molested or disquieted, by reason of their religious faith or observances, but that all shall alike enjoy the equal and impartial protection of the law; and we do strictly charge and enjoin all those who may be in authority under us that they abstain from all interference with the religious belief or worship of any of our subjects on pain of our highest displeasure And it is our further will that, so far as may be, our subjects, of whatever race or creed, be freely and impartially admitted to offices in our service, the duties of which they may be qualified by their education, ability, and integrity duly to discharge."

Based on these principles the sections of Moslem law which infringe the rights of those who are no longer Moslems, have in India been considered abrogated. A Caste Disabilities Removal Act was passed in 1850. It reads as follows: "An Act for extending the principle of Section 9, Regulation VII of 1832 of the Bengal Code, throughout the Territories subject to the Government of the East India Company.

"Whereas it is enacted by Section 9, Regulation VII, 1832, of the Bengal Code, that whenever in any civil suit the parties to such suit may be of different persuasions, when one party shall be of the Hindu and the other of the Mohammedan persuasions: or when one or more of the parties to the suit shall not be either of the Mohammedan or Hindu persuasions: the laws of those religions shall not be permitted to operate to deprive such party or parties of any property to which, but for the operation of such laws, they would have been entitled; and whereas it would be beneficial to extend the principle of that enactment throughout the territories subject to the government of the East India Company; it is enacted as follows:

"So much of any law or usage now in force within the territories subject to the Government of the East India Com-


pany, as inflicts on any person forfeiture of rights or property or may be held in any way to impair or affect any right of inheritance, by reason of his or her renouncing, or having been excluded from, the communion of any religion, or being deprived of caste, shall cease to be enforced as law in the Courts of the East India Company, and in the Courts established by Royal Charter within the said territories."

"It has been held with reference to Bombay Regulation IV of 1827, that the term 'caste' is not restricted to Hindus. It comprises any well-defined native community governed for certain internal purposes by its own rules and regulations. Act XII of 1887, Section 37, mentions questions regarding caste amongst those which have to be decided in accordance with Mohammedan law.1" - This Act should therefore leave no question as to the legal rights of Moslem converts in India. The following letter, however, which appeared in the Leader of Allahabad, May 31st, 1924, is interesting in this connection, as it shows that in the Native state of Bhopal the law of apostasy is still a power.

"A sensation, initiated unfortunately from Delhi, has been created over a law of apostasy supposed to have been recently enacted in Bhopal, presumably for the purpose of insulating the state against the Shuddhi movement. A week back I was in Bhopal, and made careful enquiries into the allegations appearing in the press. There certainly is what may be called a law of apostasy in Bhopal, but the devotees of local antiquities who alone could have dug it out of its peaceful oblivion, while communicating the result of their researches obviously missed to supplement the information with the undoubted fact that the law is as old as the state itself, and that no single instance of its having been enforced can be found. It is regrettable that communal disputes should be introduced even into native states. It is especially unfortunate that Bhopal of all states should have been singled out for so much attention. Bhopal's record in the matter of religious toleration is spotless. There are grants, not only for mosques, but also for temples and churches. Preferential treatment of one community at the

1 Principles of Mohammedan Law, by F. B. Tyabji (Bombay, 1913), pp.30, 3'.


expense of the other is foreign to the state. The relations between the Hindus and Mussulmans and the state are worthy of serving as an example to us."

It has been pointed out that the attitude of all Western governments toward Islam is one of the most difficult and delicate problems of colonial politics. When the matter was discussed at the Edinburgh Missionary Conference (1910), the following resolution, characterized by great timidity, was passed "It is not singular that, in the effort to give to Mohammedanism the outward respect due to it in a region peopled by its adherents, the British officials should sometimes 'lean over backward.' But the Commission is of the opinion that in Egypt, the Sudan and Northern Nigeria the restrictions deliberately laid upon Christian mission work, the deference paid to Islam are excessive, and that a respectful remonstrance should be made to the British Government on the subject."1

The general policy of Western governments in Africa has of late been modified, and it seems that where formerly Mohammedanism was fostered under the specious plea of toleration and neutrality, there will be a change. The excessive deference for Islam has not proved the wisest policy, even for the secular aims of governments. May we not hope that even as under the new mandatories so, none the less but rather more, in every Colonial possession in Africa a more enlightened and more generous policy will be followed, guaranteeing not only free admission of missionary agencies, but freedom of con-science and of worship to those who desire to accept Christianity.2

As Dr. St. Clair Tisdall wrote, "The Christian Churches of the British Empire and of the United States have a right to demand that, if English local Governments do not help forward the spread of the Gospel, at the very least they should no longer be permitted to oppose it, or to thwart the noble and self-denying efforts of our missionaries, who are devoting their lives to obeying our Divine Lord's last Command, and are doing work which, wherever it has been fairly tested, is acknowledged, even

1 Cf J. du Plessis, "Government and Islam in Africa," in the Moslem World, vol. xi, p. ff.

2 Cf Article on "The British Empire and Islam" in The East and the West, April, 1924.


by non-Christians, to have produced the highest mental, moral and spiritual results."1

The attitude of the Dutch Government in her extensive Colonial empire was once painfully neutral as regards Islam, but it has been modified by long experience until now it offers a high ideal. As early as 1854 a law was promulgated granting full religious liberty. In translation, Articles 119, 120, 123 and 124 read as follows:

Art. 119.-Every one shall have complete freedom to confess his religious beliefs, subject to the protection of society and its members against infringement of the general ordinances of the penal code.

Art. 120.-All public religious services within buildings or enclosed places shall be permitted in so far as these cause no disturbance of the public order. For public religious services outside buildings and enclosed places the permission of the Government shall be required.

Art. 123:-Christian teachers, priests and missionaries must be provided with a special permission granted by the Governor-General or in his name in order to carry on their work in any particular part of the Dutch Indies. If the permission is found harmful, or the conditions thereof are not fulfilled, it may be withdrawn by the Governor-General.

Art. 124.-Native priests who do not profess the Christian religion shall be under supervision of the princes, rulers and chiefs in so far as concerns the religion which each of them professes. These will make sure that nothing is undertaken by the priests which would be inconsistent with these regulations and with the ordinances promulgated by the Governor-General or in his name.2

Under such regulations sixteen Societies carry on a successful work among Moslems, and, as we have seen, the convert is protected.

One reason for the large number of converts from Islam in the Dutch East Indies is undoubtedly the more liberal policy of the Dutch Government in recent years. No less than thirty-nine million subjects in the Dutch colonies profess the faith of Mohammed (that is, about one-sixth of the total population of the Moslem world), and there is no other government, not even excepting Great Britain, which has had a larger experience with

1 St. Clair Tisdall, "Islam and National Responsibility," in the Moslem World, Vol. v., p.29.

2 Treaties, Acts and Regulations Relating to Missionary Freedom, p. 80. International Missionary Council (London, 1923).


the Moslem problem and has from time to time modified its policy to meet the exigencies of the situation than has the Dutch Government. Dr. C. Snouck Hurgronje, in his book Nederland en de Islam, 1 takes up the question as to the causes and methods of the rapid spread of Islam in Malaysia, and concludes that, although the religious motive was supreme and there were economic and social reasons as co-operative factors, one cannot explain the propagation of the Moslem faith solely on the ground of the preaching of Islam, as does T. W. Arnold, nor as a compulsory economic movement, as do Dr. Becker and the Italian savant Caetani; the chief factor in the spread of Islam was the sword. "The supreme cause for the spread of the faith, both according to the letter and the spirit of the sacred law, must be found in methods of forcible propagandism. The Moslem law considers all non-Moslems as the enemies of the great monarchy of Allah, whose opposition to His rule-which is solely by Moslems-must be broken down." In speaking of the Moslem conception of the Dar-ul-Islam and the Dar-ul-Harb, Dr. Hurgronje scores Sir William Hunter and other British statesmen for their failure to understand the real significance of the question. The teaching of Jihad, or holy warfare, does not rest, as Professor Arnold insists, on a misunderstanding of certain Koran texts, but it is the teaching of all Moslem jurists for all the past centuries. "The little group of modern Moslems who assert that Islam must only be propagated by preaching and conviction, no more represents the true teaching of their religion in which they were born, than the modernists do the Roman Catholic Church."2 Dr. Hurgronje admits that the Young Turks, and the followers of the new Islam, desire nothing so much as to relegate Jihad to the museum of antiquities, and yet he makes clear that liberty, equality and fraternity are impossible under Islam to non-Moslems.

In speaking of the relation of the Dutch Colonial Government to Islam, Dr. Hurgronje holds that neutrality as regards dogma and the purely religious portion of jurisprudence is the only safe policy. The Dutch Government cannot afford to discourage pilgrimage to Mecca, even by regulations, in spite of its political and economic evils, and although the sum of five

1 Nederland en de Islam (Leiden, 1911), pp.7, 8, 9, 12, 20 and 60-77. 2


million florins spent by pilgrims every year might be used for a better object. As regards the Moslem law of marriage and inheritance, the question is more difficult. A codification of these laws is undesirable, as many of them are mediaeval and in direct opposition to modern civilization and culture. The Government should therefore allow these laws either to fall into disuse, or by a process of evolution reach a higher standard. Although advocating a policy of neutrality as regards the Moslem faith and its jurisprudence, Dr. Hurgronje is very emphatic in stating that no form of pan-Islamism should be allowed expression in the Dutch colonies. While allowing freedom of worship to all Moslems, the government must oppose all ideas of a universal Caliphate with political power, or of Turkish intrigue in Malaysia. All teaching in regard to Jihad and the Caliphate should be prohibited in Moslem schools as far as possible.

One would imagine that with such an able and learned advocate for a policy of strict neutrality the Dutch Government would never be guilty of favouritism; and yet Mr. J. Verhoeven points out some articles and regulations of the Dutch Government which are directly opposed to the propagation of Christianity and favour Islam, showing how especially Article 71, by which the social and religious affairs of the natives are put into the hands of the Mohammedan village priest, has hindered missions. He writes, that in Middle and West Java particularly, individuals or families who show any desire for Christian instruction have again and again lost their communal interests in village property because of Article 71. In the case of a widow who was deprived of her legal rights to property solely because three of her children had joined the Christian church, the official reason given was that "No Christian can have a part in the lands belonging to a Mohammedan village." 1

1 Cf. Orgaan der Nederlandsche Zendings Vereeniging. Feb. 1911. Article by J. Verhoeven : He writes: " Het Vreedzaam voortwerken van de verheven beginselen van CHRISTUS wordt in de binnenlanden van Java her meest bemoeilijkt door Art 71 van ons Regeeringsreglement. waarbij bepaald wordt dat "alle huislioudelijke belangen "- en deze omvatten alle maatschappelijke en godsdienstige belangen van den Inlander - moeten geregeld worden door het dorpsbestuur, waarin de Mohammedaansche dorpspriester als zoodanig zitting heeft en Vooral door zijne dagelijksche inkoxnsten 66k "de eerste viool bespeelt." Het wel en wee van den vreesachtigen Inlander berust in de hand van dit bestuur, dat onmogelijk kan gecontroleerd worden


Nevertheless, there is complete freedom for the person of converts in the Dutch East Indies, and the law of apostasy has become a dead letter. Would that this were the case in all Moslem lands!

The various treaties, acts and regulations that assure a greater or less degree of missionary freedom in British Mandate territory in Africa, e.g. Togoland, Tanganyika, The Cameroons, South-west and South Africa, include in their provisions a large Moslem population. The same is true of French territory in Equatorial Africa, and of Belgian and Portuguese colonies. In nearly every case missionary freedom is guaranteed, and in consequence the life and liberty of converts protected.1

While these treaties and concessions to the rights of minorities are a hopeful indication of a new spirit of tolerance and a desire to inagurate religious freedom, there are still two large areas in Africa where the British Government itself has not granted these rights, either to missionaries or to Moslem converts. A missionary writes from the Sudan in 1923: "Outside of Khartoum and Omdurman there is practically no mission work going on among Moslems. The whole province of Dongola, with a population of 151,849, has no mission schools. During my recent tour there a Mohammedan merchant told me he was ready to give a portion of his land freely to missionaries if they would only start a school. I believe, too, this is the time. Being in and out among the people, I know full well their feelings towards missionaries. They are ready to trust them with the care of their children, and are not objecting in any way to the teaching of the Christian faith. What blocks our entrance to this region is the statute of the Anglo-Egyptian Government."2 What is this regulation ?

No mission station is allowed to be formed north of the tenth parallel of latitude in any part or district of the Sudan which is recognized by the Government as Moslem" (Regulations, Ch. xix. Sec. i). These conditions still hold to-day, yet Sir Harry Johnstone, writing in 1919 of the missionary policy of the Government, said: "With regard to missionaries of Christianity

door gebrek aan voldoend aantal betrouwbare Europeesche controleerende ambtenaren. Diep ingrijpend is daarom het Verschil in de levensomstandigheden van den bewoner van Particuliere met die van Gouvernementslanden."

1 Treatise, etc. pp. 24-27, 42, 64, etc.3

2 Egypt General Mission News, December, 1923.


- of all sects of Christianity-we have nothing to reproach ourselves with save, perhaps, in Nigeria and the Sudan. Throughout all our great tropical African dominions Christianity of a reasonable type has made enormous progress. At the same time Mohammedanism has not been discouraged or flouted, and the good elements in it are perhaps seen at their best in British Africa and India. We must, however, sweep away resolutely the indefensible restrictions on Christian missionaries which, I believe, still exists in British-governed Nigeria and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. It was pretended twenty years ago and less that the entry and circulation of Christian missionaries in the Fula States of Nigeria and the regions of the Sudan mainly inhabited by Arabs might excite displays of Islamic hostility, and lead to native revolts. Such fears were far-fetched. In Africa, at any rate, there is now little or no enmity towards exponents of the Christian faith, especially if they are white men from Europe or America. Such missionaries are usually acquainted with medicine and are apt instructors in general education. The Moslem generally accepts them on that basis. They may or may not effect much change in his religious views (so far as dogma is concerned); but ethically they Christianize him, and they are a potent force in education. The real opposition to their free movements and presence in such countries arose almost entirely from the military governors so dear to the heart of Foreign Office and Colonial Office. These earlier administrators of North Central Africa disliked the Christian missionary because he was generally' a shrewd person of good and modern education, who criticised maltreatment of the natives, was learned in law, and a lover of freedom. All nonsense of this kind must now be swept away."1

When we study a large scale map of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and note the imaginary line called the tenth parallel of latitude which is supposed to set bounds to the Gospel and "limit the Holy One of Israel" by shutting out even medical missions from Moslem tribes numbering hundreds of thousands, nonsense of this kind,' seems indeed to be inexcusable.

Egypt to-day has some religious freedom. It came by struggle.

The following paragraph and two letters tell the story of the

1 According to recent Missionary testimony the present Government still continues certain restrictions on work among Moslems in Northern Nigeria and handicaps the progress of missions.


first firman for religious toleration in Egypt, which was secured by the United States Government through President Abraham Lincoln in 1861:1 "Faris, the agent of some missionaries in Upper Egypt, told me," says Dr. Lansing, "of the case of a Coptic woman who had some years before been seduced by a Moslem, and who now wished to return to her old faith; and he said that the Copts were very anxious that he should under-take her defence with the Government. He asked what he should do, and I told him that if in a friendly way he could do anything with the Government to secure her in her return to the faith of her fathers, he might do so; but that he must be very careful not to compromise himself or implicate us with the authorities. He, however, went beyond his letter of instructions, and four months after it resulted in an affair which almost cost him his life, but which made us politically the first men in Egypt. The following letters tell how'

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States of America,to His HIGHNESS MOHAMMED SAID PACHA, Viceroy of Egypt and its Dependencies, etc.'GREAT AND GOOD FRIEND,'

I have received from Mr. Thayer, Consul-General of the United States at Alexandria, a full account of the liberal, enlightened, and energetic proceedings which, on his complaint, you have adopted, in bringing to speedy and condign punishment the parties, subjects of your Highness in Upper Egypt, who were concerned in an act of cruel persecution against Fans, an agent of certain Christian missionaries in Upper Egypt.

'I pray your Highness to be assured that these proceedings, at once so prompt and so just, will be regarded as a new and unmistakable proof equally of your Highness' friendship for the United States, and of the firmness, integrity, and wisdom with which the Government of your Highness is conducted.'Wishing you great prosperity and success,I'I am, your good friend,

Washington; October 9, 1861.
By the President: WILLIAM H. SEWARD,'Secretary of State.

1 Egypt's Princes, by G Lansing. Philadelphia, 1864, p.322 and pp.342-343.



President of the United States of America.

'HONOURABLE SIR AND FRIEND,'Mr. Thayer, Consul-General of the United States of Alexandria, has presented me the letter you were pleased to write me, expressing your feelings of satisfaction for the punishment which I have inflicted on some individuals guilty of evil and cruel treatment towards an agent of certain Christian missionaries in Upper Egypt. Mr. Thayer, who I am happy to say, entertains with me the most friendly relations, had already expressed to me the feelings of your Government.'

In this case, honourable sir and friend, I have only executed the rule which I have always endeavoured to follow, in protecting in an equal way, without consideration of creed, all those who, either by inclination or for the fulfilment of a duty, sojourn in the country submitted to my administration.

'I am profoundly sensible of the friendly manner in which you express your sentiments both to myself and to my Government, and I pray you, honourable sir and friend, to accept with this offering of my thanks, my sincere wishes for the success, perpetuity, and integrity of the American Union, which, I hope, under your able Presidency, will soon see an end of the trials with which the Almighty has been pleased to afflict it.'Your most devoted friend,

'MOHAMMED SAID.'Alexandria, November 21, 1861.'"

One must read between the lines of this interesting diplomatic correspondence, and realize the condition of all Copts in Egypt at the time to understand the effect of such a ruling on religious liberty. It was the first step.

At present Egypt is in a transition period. The declaration of complete independence, the withdrawal of many important advisory members from government departments, the struggle between the extremist and the moderate parties in the recent elections, the uncertainty of the future relationship between Britain and Egypt; all these indicate that the time is not yet for drawing any definite conclusions regarding liberty for converts or freedom of conscience. When the new Constitution


declares (Art. 149) "Islam shall be the religion of the State," and when the new flag is of the old green Mohammedan shade, one may be permitted to doubt the full face value of Articles 3, 4, 12, 13 and 14, and yet hope that they are the harbingers of real liberty. These articles read as follows

Art. 3.-All Egyptians shall be equal before the law. They shall have equal enjoyment of civil and political rights and shall be equally liable for public charges and duties without any distinction of race, language or religion. They alone shall be eligible for civil, military and public office; strangers shall only be eligible in exceptional cases to be defined by law.

Art. 4.-The liberty of the individual shall be guaranteed.

Art. 12.-There shall be absolute freedom of conscience.

Art. 13.-The State shall, in conformity with established or custom in Egypt, protect the free exercise of all religion or belief, on condition that there shall be no violation of public order morals.

Art. 14.-Freedom of thought shall be guaranteed. Within the limits of the law all persons shall have the right to express freely their views by word, writing, pictures or otherwise.1

Although the law of apostasy, as far as it applies to the life of a convert in Egypt, may not be publicly executed or enforced before any court, other disabilities still obtain. A Mohammedan lawyer in Cairo answering an inquiry on this subject, expressed himself as follows: "The present law (1923) in Egypt regarding apostates is complete freedom. Any one can adopt whatever religion he desires. There are no local laws concerning the matter, and the old Mohammedan laws in regard to apostasy, as well as in regard to other details, are a dead letter. That is, they have fallen into disuse. Many Mohammedans have become Christians, and they are actually delivering lectures and enjoying their full rights. In my experience I know of no one who has suffered loss of property or desertion by his wife because of a change of. religion. Recent law books do not mention the subject." This statement is optimistic, and illustrates the proverb of the wish becoming father to the thought. A colleague of this lawyer, who is also a practising barrister in Egypt, writes as follows: "As a general principle, carefully followed by the Egyptian Government in all of its

1 Treaties, Acts and Regulations Relating to Missionary Freedom, p. 104. International Missionary Council, London, 1923.


recent enactments, Mohammedan law (Hanifi Code) is followed out as regards rules of succession and personal status (marriage, divorce, apostasy, etc.). Mohammedan criminal law is entirely done away with, and so is the civil law of obligations in general and special contracts, e.g. sale, lease, etc. As regards apostasy in particular, there is no recent law. The old law is followed in the above sense, i.e. in inheritance and marriage; but no sentence for criminal punishment could be passed upon an apostate, because Egypt follows the recent penal code (since 1883), which in principle is almost textually borrowed from the French penal code. This does not punish apostasy, and the general principle in modern penal law is 'no punishment unless a crime is within the law, i.e. penal law.' A Moslem who deserts Islam loses the right of inheritance, as the Mohammedan law of succession explicitly states Difference of religion is a bar to inheritance. But he does not lose the property which he owns holds here to-day, and the Mohammedan wife of an apostate at the time of apostasy. The Mohammedan law of marriage has the right to be divorced unless she herself embraces Christianity. The Mohammedan law allows a Mohammedan to marry a Christian wife, but does not allow a Mohammedan woman to marry a non-Mohammedan."

When these remaining civil disabilities are removed by special enactment, Egypt will have liberty and equality for Moslem converts.

The history of religious toleration in Turkey is a long, long trail of broken promises. As early as 1453, when Mohammed II captured Constantinople, he issued an edict of toleration determining the privileges, immunities and special franchises of the Christian clergy and of Christians. In 1856 the famous Hatti Humayoun declared that "No one shall be disturbed or annoyed by reason of the religion that he professes. The worship of all the religions and creeds existing in Turkey being practised with all liberty, no one shall be prevented from exercising the religion that he professes. Each community is at liberty to establish schools, only the choice of teachers and the method of instruction being under the inspection and control of the Government." At the Berlin Congress in 1878 the Turkish Commissioner declared that "throughout the


(Ottoman) Empire the most different religions are professed by millions of the Sultan's subjects, and not one has been molested in his belief or in the exercise of his mode of worship. The Imperial government is determined to maintain this principle in its full force, and to give it all the extension that it calls for.

"In spite of these regulations the normal state of affairs in Turkey in its bearing on missionary work and on freedom of conscience was in direct contradiction to the provisions made. A missionary wrote in 1904, that "All the reforms introduced in 1897 have proved absolute failures, and in the grimmest sense of the word the status quo has not been affected by them." The travel of missionaries was restricted, colporteurs were arrested and often imprisoned, no building for Christian worship might be erected without official permission, and this often required years. A strict censorship of the Press was exercised. All sorts of obstructions were put in the way of educational work. Even medical work was limited by the requirement of special permits and examinations from those engaged in it. There was neither freedom of speech nor freedom of the Press in Turkey during the reign of Abdul Hamid. The convert from Islam was murdered or fled to other lands. "So many stories of Turkish Press censorship have been told that a quarto volume of them might be gathered together. The American Bible Society at one time published a revised edition of the Turkish Scriptures when a zealous censor demanded that such verses as Proverbs iv. 14-17; vi. 16-19; xix. 29; xx. 21; xxi. 7; xxii. 28; xxiv. 15, 16; xxvi. 26, be omitted, as bearing too pointedly on the present condition of affairs in Turkey. It took some exertion to convince him that the right to publish the Word of God intact has been secured by treaty. The editor of the weekly religious paper Avedaper was publishing a series of articles about eschatology, but was forbidden to use the word 'Millennium,' as that seemed to intimate that there could be a more blessed period than the reign of Abdul Hamid II."1

After the revolution there were high hopes of a coming dawn of "liberty, justice, equality and brotherhood." These words

1 Missionary Review of the World, Oct.1904 -"The Normal State of Affairs in Turkey."


were emblazoned on banners and worn on arm-bands by the crowds in the streets of Constantinople. There appeared to be a sudden growth of most cordial relations between Moslems and Christians. The London Times, August 21, 1908, described the celebrations at Beirut in the following terms: "Again and again the Moslem speakers gave the salutation, 'Es-salaam alaikum ya akhwaty' (Peace be upon you, O brethren), which had been withheld from the Christians for so many years except by all but the most liberal and enlightened Moslems. At one place in the streets was a large inscription which expressed the new spirit in a verse from the Koran side by side with a verse from the Bible- 'The deliverance is from God, and victory is near'; 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' Then came a sentiment perhaps never written before in public-' Long live the Moslem-Christian brotherhood,' and below it 'Long live liberty.' It was almost impossible to believe our ears and eyes. Then, at many places and many times during the day, when the people caught sight of a Christian priest and turbaned Moslem in proximity to each other, they were pushed into each other's arms and made to kiss each other! . . . On that Sunday the largest and most remarkable demonstration took place in the Armenian church among the bazaars. The commander of the troops and many of the officers, together with the military band, were present. The Bishop, many of the priests, and many more of the Moslems made fraternal speeches, in which all bewailed the awful events of the present reign in Armenia, and welcomed the new era, in which there was to be liberty, equality, and fraternity, ending the so-called Armenian question for ever."

But the Armenian question was not settled. After the revolution came the tragedy of Adana; and after Adana, the massacres and deportations of more than a million Christians in Turkey as a grim and ghastly comment on the assurance of liberty and equality. One is forced to the conclusion of Freeman in his history of the Saracens. "To those who expect to see a Mohammedan state become tolerant and civilized without ceasing to be a Mohammedan state, I would again hold up the solitary example of the illustrious Mogul. If European Turkey, or Asiatic Turkey, is to be reformed from within, without the


coercion of either enemies of friends, the career of Akbar must be the guiding star. Let the individual Mohammedan have the fullest equality with the individual Christian, but let not the individual Christian have to recognize a Mohammedan master as his sovereign. So long as a Government remains Mohammedan, so long must it be intolerant at home; so long will it be restrained only by weakness from offering to other lands the old election of 'Koran, Tribute or Sword.' "1

Neither during the world war nor since the Armistice has there been any semblance of religious liberty or freedom of conscience in Turkey. Deportations, murders, massacre, rape, pillage-these do not spell equality or fraternity.

The Nationalists under Mustapha Kemal have now a Constitutional Assembly, and the form of a Turkish Republic, but the State religion remains Islam; and in the publication of religious fetwas they have indicated that to them also Moslem divine law is superior to any constitution.2 On April 20, 1920, the Nationalist newspaper, published at Brusa, interspersed its statement regarding the duty of all Nationalists with quotations from the Koran, and laid down principles in this fashion:"

1. Is it not the duty of all Moslems to take up arms in defence of the Khalifa when the seat of the Khalifa is occupied by the enemy, when all means of defence are taken from the Sultan so that he can no longer defend the true interests of the nation, and when courts-martial are established in the capital under British laws? Reply: Yes."

2. Can those who thus take part in the fight against the enemy be stigmatized as enemies of their country and their religion? Reply: No."

3. Are not those who die in such fighting 'martyrs' (Shuhida), and are not those who survive 'victors' (Ghazi)? Reply: Yes."

4. Are not all Moslems bound by the Holy Law under such circumstances to assist in the struggle against the enemy? Reply: Yes.

1 Freeman, History and Conquests of the Saracens, p.203.

2 This was the case before the abolition of the Caliphate and the expulsion of the Caliph. Whether the present Nationalist government will grant liberty of worship and speech to minorities is an open question.


"5. Are fetwas issued by a Government which is under the influence of the enemy binding under the Holy Law upon Moslems? Reply: No."

Recent regulations regarding foreigners in Turkey and the prohibition of Christian teaching to Moslem pupils in Mission Schools do not indicate a larger degree of liberty under Islamic Nationalist Government, but rather a recrudescence of the old spirit.1

If one could appeal to constitutional rights and to the promises made on paper, there might be hope for the Christian minorities. But what does the Turk care for a "scrap of paper"?

The last of all these official documents in which Turkey assures the world that she will respect the rights of minorities and give religious liberty to all her subjects is the Treaty of Peace signed at Lausanne, July 24, 1923. The following Articles are intended to protect minorities: -

Art. 37.-Turkey undertakes that the stipulations contained in Articles 38 to 44 shall be recognized as fundamental laws, and that no law, no regulation nor official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation nor official action prevail among them.

Art. 38.-The Turkish Government undertakes to assure full and complete protection of life and liberty to all inhabitants of Turkey without distinction of birth, nationality, language, race or religion. All inhabitants of Turkey shall be entitled to free exercise, whether in public or private, of any creed, religion or belief, the observance of which shall not be incompatible with public order and good morals. Non-Moslem minorities will enjoy full freedom of movement and of emigration, subject to the measures applied, on the whole or on part of the territory, to all Turkish nationals, and which may be taken by the Turkish Government for national defence, or for the maintenance of public order.

Art. 39.-Turkish nationals belonging to non-Moslem minorities will enjoy the same civil and political rights as Moslem. All the inhabitants of Turkey, without distinction of religion, shall be equal before the law. Differences of religion, creed or confession shall not prejudice any Turkish national in matters relating to the enjoyment of civ1l or political rights, as, for instance,

1 Cf. article by James L. Barton on "The Present Status of Missionary and Educational Work in Turkey" in the Homiletic Review. January, 1924.


admission to public employments, functions and honours, or the exercise of professions and industries. No restrictions shall be imposed on the free use by any Turkish national of any language in private intercourse, in commerce, religion, in the Press, or in publications of any kind at or public meetings. Notwithstanding the existence of the official language, adequate facilities shall be given to Turkish nationals of non-Turkish speech for the oral use of their own language before the Courts.1

We are reliably informed that at Lausanne, General Ismet Pasha, the spokesman for the Turkish Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs of that Government, declared to Ambassador Child, as well as to representatives of the American Board, that they desired American missionaries, educators and physicians to remain in the country and carry on their work as before. He went so far as to put into writing: "I hope above all things that Americans will not worry about the future of their educational and philanthropic institutions in Turkey. We want these institutions to stay, and have no intention of adopting laws that will embarrass the continuation of the admirable American altruistic work among our people." The same sentiment was expressed by Dr. Fouad Bey, a Turkish unofficial representative, recently in the United States.

The abolition of the capitulations was an omen of sinister import. On the other hand, the new government in Turkey has now gone a step further in the abolition of the Caliphate as a religious institution. Dr. James L. Barton says : 2

It is impossible to measure the import of the separation of Church and State by which the religious establishment of Islam heads up in the Caliph at Constantinople, while the affairs of State centre in the Grand National Assembly at Angora. The Turks repeatedly affirmed at Lausanne that Church and State were now separate, and that there was absolute religious freedom in Turkey. It is impossible to believe that such a fundamental and even revolutionary change can be practically perfected without a long period of trial. And yet the attempt is in itself of startling significance and may mean much or little."

The work in Turkey has been swept as with a besom of

1 Treaties, etc., pp.97 and 98.2

2 The Problem of Turkey as the American Board Views it. pp.8, 9, 10. Boston, 1922.


destruction, but we can even now see tokens of new life and power and of possible opportunities not before realized. We do not attempt to explain the providences that have produced present political conditions; they are beyond the reach of the human mind."

We turn to history for our encouragement, to the promises for our assurance, to the God of missions for our spiritual equipment, and to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ for our marching orders."

'That which is seen is temporal, but that which is unseen is eternal.'

The brief history of constitutional government in Persia furnishes abundant illustration of the difficulty of reconciling the old Mohammedan law and the new conditions; and yet every step has been one of progress for liberty. When the new constitution was written and prepared for adoption, the leaders prefaced the document with an article definitely accepting the authority of the religious law of Islam as recorded in the Koran and in the commentaries of Imam Jaffar. They might as well have bound together the Jewish Talmud and the American Constitution, making the former supreme and inviolate. But the reasons for this preface to the constitution can easily be understood. It was intended to capture the consent of the mullahs and the conservative party; but it will prove impossible to apply the old criminal code and the law against apostasy in proportion as education gains foothold and Western thought penetrates the masses. The old day of absolute intolerance, missionaries tell us, has gone for ever:"

In 1812 Persian children in the streets stoned Henry Martyn until he feared for his life. A whole roomful of white-bearded mullahs, after they had agreed to a friendly debate with him on religion, lost all their ecclesiastical dignity in a mad attempt to tear him to pieces. These same things might have occurred anywhere in Persia twenty years ago. The law of Islam still forbids close association with infidels, still demands the death of all who leave its ranks, still bans pictures and every form of art. Yet in 1923, in the city of Teheran, two missionaries talked earnestly for hours with a white-bearded mullah, one off


the leading ecclesiastics of the city, and found him sincerely interested in Christ as the Saviour of the world. The conversation took place in the home of a high-class Persian, known openly as a baptized believer in Jesus Christ, and behind the old mullah, as he talked, hung a large picture of our Lord turning to heal a suppliant."

Dr. Robert E. Speer told the story of Mirza Ibrahim, a Mohammedan of Khoi, who was publicly baptized in 1890; in spite of the attempted dissuasion and bribery of the mullahs, the desertion of his wife and children, and the loss of all his property according to the Moslem law of apostasy. While preaching, he was arrested and taken before the governor, and when he was beaten and reviled, he only replied, as his face shone, "So was my Saviour beaten." "After a short imprisonment he was removed to Tabriz. As he was led away from the prison, he solemnly called his fellow-prisoners to witness that he was free from their blood if they should reject the way of life, and 'They all rose with heavy chains on their necks and bade him go in peace, while they prayed that his God and the Saviour whom he trusted would protect him.' One of the Mohammedan officers who had watched him, said to the Mohammedan crowd in the yard: 'This is a wonderful man. He is as brave as a lion. A mullah has just been trying to convince him of his error, but he replies to everything, and the mullah has gone away with his head hanging down. He says that Mohammed is not a prophet, and that unless they can prove that he is, from the Holy Books, he will not give up his faith in Christ, even if they cut off his head.' His last request, as he set out for the capital of the province, was: 'Pray for me that I may be a witness for Christ before the great of my people. I have no fear though I know that I shall die.' At Tabriz he was cast into a dark dungeon, chained to vile criminals, beaten, stunned and deprived of his clothes and bedding. One night, when he witnessed for Christ to his fellow-prisoners, they fell upon him, kicked him, and took turns in choking him. His throat swelled so that he could scarcely swallow or speak, and on Sunday, May 14, 1893, he died from his injuries. When the Crown Prince was informed of his death, he asked, 'How did he die?' And the jailor


answered, 'He died like a Christian.' "Now a new day has dawned.

Holy Meshed, once as exclusive as Mecca itself, and still "the glory of the Shi'ah world," is now a Mission station and it has a great hospital where converts from Islam minister to the people and manifest the mercy and compassion of Jesus Christ our Lord. Public baptisms have taken place in the capital and in many other cities of Persia; and in this land we are beginning to see the signs of a coming harvest. The change that has taken place in Tabriz is even more noticeable. Once Mohammedans were beaten for attending Sunday services. In 1892 the government closed the doors of the church and school on the pretence that there was a tank under the church in which to baptize converts. When the buildings were again opened the government forbade Moslem women and children to enter the school or the church. To-day in this city there is complete liberty. Moslem newspapers are criticizing the Moslem ecclesiastics, and one of the leading editors told Dr. Speer that there was no hope for Persia until the power of Islam was shattered. The new Constitution is stated by a leading Moslem convert to be "the greatest blow against the tottering walls of Islam. I say freely that Islam and the spirit of constitutional government are incompatible for ever."1 In Isfahan thirteen Moslems were recently publicly baptized, and there was no attempt at persecution. Persia may prove to be the first Moslem land where liberty of conscience and freedom of speech will produce a new nation.

The French mandate for Syria and the Lebanon, of July 24, 1922, also ensures "complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship." (Article 8.) 2 Doubtless the

1 Report on India ond Persia. By Robert H. Speer and Russell Carter. Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., 1922.

2 It reads: Le Mandataire garantira a toute personne la plus complète liberté de conscience ainsi que le libre exercice do toutes les formes de culte compatibles avec l'ordre publique et les bonnes moeurs. Ii n'y aura inégalité de traitement entres les habitants de la Syrie et du Liban du fait des differences de race de religion on de langue.

Le Mandataire développera l'instruction publique donnée an moyon des langues indigènes en usage sur les territoiros do la Syria et du Liban.

Il ne sera porté aucune atteinte an droit des communautés de conserver leurs ecoles en vue de l'instruction et de l'e'ducation de leurs membres dans leur propre langue à condition de se conformer aux préscriptions géné rales sur l'instruction publique édictée par l'administration."


usual provisions are made for the enforcement of Moslem law as relates to person and property, but no mention is made of the possible transfer of Moslems to the Christian community, nor as regards the rights of those who are thus transferred. The difficulties in Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia, are far greater, naturally, than they are in the Philippine Islands; but one would like to see provision made for these countries in such outspoken and unmistakable language as is found in Article 3 of the Act of Congress, U.S.A., August 29, 1916. (This Act applies also to the more than 400,000 Mohammedans of the Philippine Islands.) "...that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress or grievance. That no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall for ever be allowed: and no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian instruction or system of religion, or for the use, benefit or support of any priest, preacher, minister or other religious teacher or dignitary as such. Contracting polygamous or plural marriages hereafter is prohibited. That no law shall be construed to permit polygamous or plural marriages."1 There is a long road to travel in Egypt and Syria before such an act can appear on the statute books or be enforced as law.

The Mandate for Palestine declares, in Article 15: "The

Article X reads : Le Contrôle exercé par le Mandataire sur les missions religiouses en Syrie at au Liban so bornora au maintien do l'ordre publique et do la bonno administration aucune atteinte ne sera portée à la libre activité des dites mission~ réligieuses.

Les mombres de ces missions no seront l'objet d'aucune mésure restrictive au fait do leur nationalité, pourvu quo bur activité ne sorte pas du domaine religious.

Les missions réligieuses pourront également s'occuper d'oeuvres d'instruction et d'assistance publique sons reserve du droit général de règlementation et de Contrôle du Mandataire ou des Gouvernements locaux on matiere d'education d'instruction et d'assistance publique."- Correspondance d'Orient - October, 1923. Paris.

1 Treaties, Acts, etc., pp. 82.


Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief." But in Article 52 we read: "Moslem Religious Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction in matters of personal status of Moslems in accordance with the provisions of the Law of Procedure of the Moslem Religious Courts of the 25th October, 1333 A.H., as amended by any Ordinance or Rules. They shall also have, subject to the provisions of any Ordinance or of the Order of the 20th December, 1921, establishing a Supreme Council for Moslem Religious Affairs, or of any Orders amending the same, exclusive jurisdiction in cases of the constitution or internal administration of a Wakf constituted for the benefit of Moslems before a Moslem Religious Court. There shall be an appeal from the Court of the Qadi to the Moslem Religious Court of Appeal, whose decision shall be final."

Other provisions are made for appeal to the Chief Justice, and yet, as long as Moslem law obtains, one would like to see a definite provision made for the case of apostates, in order that the provisions of Article 83 may not prove a dead letter. In this Article we read that "all persons in Palestine shall enjoy full liberty of conscience1.

For the difficulties which converts face in Palestine have not been altogether removed because of the British mandate. In fact, in some respects, they have increased. The actual situation is described by the Rev. A. J. Mortimer, of Nablous2:

What are the present prospects of winning converts from Islam in Palestine? Is it easier for a Moslem to become a Christian under the terms of the British Mandate than it was under the Turkish regime? Is the law now administered Ottoman or British, and, if the latter, is there complete religious freedom? The law, as at present administered, is neither wholly Ottoman nor wholly British, but a compound of

1 Cf. Treaties, Acts and Regulations Relating to Missionary Freedom. Inter national Missionary Council, London, 1923, pp.21-24.

2 Church Missionary Outlook. 1923.


the two. The basis is still Ottoman, but from time to time, as occasion arises, new ordinances are published from Government House, superseding or modifying the old order.

"When the High Commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel, arrived in Palestine to take up his post he read publicly in Jerusalem and Haifa, before representatives invited from the surrounding districts, a letter from King George V to the people of Palestine, in which, among other things, complete freedom of conscience was proclaimed. This clause was confirmed by the new constitution lately promulgated after the signing of the Mandate. Under the old Ottoman law any one wishing to change his religion was compelled, in order to have the change legalized, to submit to an examination not exceeding two hours in duration by the local head of his former religion, with a view of his being dissuaded from the step. In the event of his not being dissuaded, his change of religion became legally recognized and valid.

In practice, however, so far as Palestine is concerned, the law seems to have been applied only in the case of Moslems wishing to change their Creed, and not vice versa. In one notable case the result of the 'examination' as announced was an obvious falsification of the facts, and was followed by the disappearance of the convert! On the other hand, an experienced missionary worker has related that in Egypt, on more than one occasion, he has effectively claimed the right, under this law, of interviewing would-be perverts to Islam, and that in most cases he was successful, generally after a few minutes' conservation, in dissuading the 'pervert' from his intention. Quite often the motive for the change was not religious conviction, but the desire to contract a marriage. A new 'ordinance,' reviving this Ottoman law, has lately been published, with modifications, e.g. the arrangements for the 'examination' are to be made under the direction of the local governor, generally an English-man, and the ordinance is, of course, equally applicable to Moslem, Jew, or Christian.

"This law, so long as it is equitably administered (and the supervision by an English governor is a guarantee of fair play), should be welcomed by the missionary, seeing that it affords equal advantages to the 'heads of each religion. At the


time the would-be convert to Christianity must be possessed of intellectual conviction to face the ordeal of a two hours' cross-examination at the hands of the local mufti, and also of courage, both moral and physical, having survived his examination to meet the obloquy, not to say persecution, at the hands of his former co-religionists, which is fairly certain to follow. The present attitude of the Arab population in refusing to recognize the new Palestine Constitution under the British Mandate tends to complicate matters should new cases of conversion arise in the near future."

We turn from Palestine to Mesopotamia. Here the outlook is very hopeful, and the missionaries look forward to a day of complete religious freedom after centuries of fanaticism and oppression toward Christian minorities under Turkish rule.

In the treaty between His Britannic Majesty and His Majesty the King of Iraq, signed at Baghdad on October 10, 1922, we have two Articles that grant religious and missionary freedom to all in this ancient land of the Caliphate. Article 3 reads:

"His Majesty the King of Iraq agrees to frame an Organic Law for presentation to the Constituent Assembly of Iraq, and to give effect to the said Law, which shall contain nothing contrary to the provisions of the present Treaty, and shall take account of the rights, wishes and interests of all populations inhabiting Iraq. This Organic Law shall ensure to all complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals. It shall provide that no discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Iraq on the ground of race, religion or language, and shall secure that the right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Government of Iraq may impose, shall not be denied or impaired. It shall prescribe the constitutional procedure, whether legislative or executive, by which decisions will be taken on all matters of importance, including those involving questions of fiscal, financial and military policy." And Article 12 of the same Treaty states: "No measure shall be taken in Iraq to obstruct or interfere with missionary enterprise or to discriminate


against any missionary on the ground of his religious belief or nationality, provided that such enterprise is not prejudicial to public order and good government."1

Far more important, however, than all these promises of liberty, on paper, is the rising tide of freedom in the hearts of all people in all lands, and in spite of all the old Islamic laws. Nationalism has done its work if not always wisely yet most thoroughly.

Our correspondents in many Mission fields are almost unanimous in expressing the hope that we are facing the dawn of a new day of liberty. Although some express this hope with fear and trembling, especially those who have had such hopes disappointed after the proclamation of liberty, fraternity and equality in Turkey. In the old Moslem lands, such as inner Arabia and Afghanistan, there are few signs of new liberty for converts. The entrance of missionaries is forbidden in the Hejaz and across the Indian Afghan frontier. In Tunisia, according to a missionary residing at Kairouan, "The old intolerant attitude still exists, though some classes of Moslems may be more tolerant. As far as French authority or influence works, certainly it would be on the side of toleration, although the French government rather seeks to appear friendly to Islam."

From Algeria, however, a missionary writes: "The attitude of Moslems towards Christianity is much more tolerant to-day. There is great laxity with regard to the Moslem tenets of drinking wine and eating pork; there are many so-called Moslems who take wine very freely. In fact, there is more drunkenness amongst Moslems of Algeria than amongst Europeans."Yet there would still be a deal of persecution for any Moslem who dared to confess Christ in preference to Mohammed. In Persia they tell us there have been "radical changes during the past twenty years." The constitution has given more liberty of thought and action, and the police department now handles many matters which formerly were brought before the religious courts. It also safeguards converts from mob violence and fanaticism. As one of the missionaries expresses it, "A better day is coming, and the harvest is beginning to be gathered in. There may be bloodshed yet, but Christ will prevail."

1 Treaties, etc., pp.95 and 96.


Another correspondent, writing in regard to the French colonies in Africa, says: "I do not think one can say that there is a more tolerant attitude on the part of Moslem authorities towards converts to Christianity. They may be more tolerant towards natives who become naturalized French citizens, and who may even go the length of wearing a European hat! That would be explained as having been done from self-interest and temporarily. To renounce Islam and embrace Christianity, and to declare this openly is quite another matter in the eyes of Moslems." In Egypt, however, there certainly is a more tolerant attitude toward converts. And yet missionaries differ in their interpretation as to the real reasons for this changed attitude. One who has had twenty years' experience in every part of this field, says: "The full enforcement of the law against apostasy is not possible because of the strong supervision of British officials. What would and will happen when that supervision is withdrawn remains to be seen. The new constitution, with its boasted gift of religious liberty, seems to me to leave the question of Moslem converts where it was. While a more hopeful view is expressed by Dr. R. S. McClanahan: "That Moslems would be even willing to inquire, to attend meetings, to make investigations, to buy the Scriptures, and to read them, and also books of discussion on the subject, that Christian missionaries should be given so much of a hearing in public and in private as they are, and that many leaders in the movement for independence in the country are finding that liberty of conscience is an essential of any liberty at all; these things certainly suggest a more tolerant attitude. I believe it is simply the normal reaction which comes out of all this talk of liberty and independence and freedom, of which the atmosphere has been full for several years." There have been public baptisms and marriages of Moslem converts; in one case the officiating clergyman, bridegroom and parents were all converts from Islam.

Tolerance toward converts from Islam seems often to be in direct proportion to the proximity of foreign governments and their influence, and the impact of Western civilization in breaking down fanaticism. This is evident, for example, in such cities as Aden and Constantinople. "Undoubtedly there


is a more tolerant attitude now than there was when I came to Aden," writes Dr. J. C. Young. "At the morning service the people listen with attention and often with real reverence, and in the school both Moslem and Jewish scholars regularly join together in repeating the Lord's Prayer every morning at the opening service before the clinic begins. The people buy Scriptures more readily than they did. One morning I sold fifteen copies, where a few years ago not a single copy would have been sold; and I am confident that as the entrance of God's Word ever giveth light, the time will come when all barriers will be swept away in the flood of blessings that will come to Arabia." And from Constantinople, a missionary writes: "There is a more tolerant attitude due, perhaps, in part to closer contact with the Western world and to greater publicity. One or two Moslems have become Christians here, and are living as Christians. I cannot say that they are out of danger, but they have not as yet been molested. I think we should appeal to the Moslem world to place their religion on the same basis as Christianity; subject to criticism and investigation, with freedom for every man to change his faith under stress of conviction. It is, however, difficult for such an appeal to reach the ignorant masses among whom it is considered as a crime for a Moslem to change his faith."

In some cases the persecution of a convert and his martyrdom has proved the truth of the words of our Lord, " Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Dr. Walter R. Miller gives this interesting account of what happened in Nigeria. "About twenty years before our coming, a Mallam of Kano, passing through Egypt from Mecca, heard the Gospel; and, only feebly understanding it, had apparently been impressed by the grandeur of the personality of Christ. He returned to Kano and preached what he knew; and was tortured and killed because he refused to give up what he believed. As a direct consequence of this, nearly twenty years later, or possibly more, many of his disciples who had fled came under the sound of the Gospel. A little Christian village was started here, and a community of over one hundred and thirty souls lived under Christian law and teaching, and many were baptized. Alas,


sleeping sickness has, during the last four years, nearly annihilated this little community " But Dr. Miller goes on to say, "I cannot say that there is any change of attitude on the part of Moslems here. I believe-nay, I have proof-that were the British power removed, every Christian convert would be executed at once. It is an anomaly that the British Government prevents a Christian inheriting from his Moslem father, even though the latter and his son have been living in most friendly relation before the father's death."

One of the most hopeful features in the whole situation is that educated Moslems in all lands are beginning to have a more liberal outlook. They are conscious that political liberty can exist only where the rights of minorities are respected, and that Islamic law must be modified in order to secure the freedom desired. An open-minded Turk in conversation with Dr. W. Nesbitt Chambers at Adana expressed himself in terms such as these: "The past six hundred years demonstrate that the Turks of themselves cannot make progress. The Magyars, the Roumanians, the Bulgarians and others, freed from Turkish domination, made advance. Compare Sofia and Adrianople - neighbouring cities. If the Ulema, the Khojas and other leaders had been men of culture and education and serious and open-minded, they would have considered the needs of the country and would have introduced those changes necessary for the welfare and best interests of the people of the country in all phases of life. Six hundred years of this is sufficient. Now is the time to inaugurate those movements that will make for the peace and the best interests of all the people.

Is it not time for the Turkish race, possessed of excellent qualities that would make for progress if they had the opportunity and were properly led, to consider with deep seriousness this condition and seek a remedy? Open the windows and let in the light!

"Must we not admit that Islam is too small a religion, too circumscribed, too formal? Must we not place the responsibility of our backwardness, and not only ours but the backwardness of Moslem lands, at the door of Islam? We are challenged for an answer. Should we not seek the reason in what appears


to be the fact, that Islam does not furnish the high ideal, the inspiration to investigation, the desire for progress in the different phases of life, material, social and spiritual?"

The holy Koran is in a language known to but comparatively few in the Moslem world; the repetition of its words, and other religious exercises enjoined, do not develop moral excellence, or, as history shows, an impulse for progress and human welfare. Is the assertion that the Koran supersedes the Gospel tenable? Is it necessary that Allah should withdraw a revelation or substitute a different one already given? We recognize Jesus the Messiah of the Gospel as a prophet of God. Let us turn to what light He may give on the human problem. Let that stand which can give light and a lead."1

In the Persian press a Moslem editor expressed himself regarding the need of a new liberty as follows ("Azad," i.e. Freedom, published at Tabriz, Jan. I, 1922): "Oh, Persians of the Shiah sect, either you believe or you do not believe. But those who do believe, let them give ear and hear what I am saying. How unworthy are those who confess that Islam is a religious system both spiritual and worldly, but who forget that a tree must be known by its fruits. While, as you say, this religion has the happiness of this world to offer as well as the coming world, yet in every point all Moslems over the world are low, poor, unclean, without civilization, foolish, ignorant and in general they are two hundred years behind American and European Christians, and even behind Zoroastrians. . . . Refuse to tie yourselves as the followers all of one man and say that his command is the command of God and the prophet, and second you can treat your various tribes so that they will not be tools in the hands of your neighbour nations. If you do these things I assure you that your kingdom will be great. Therefore arise and take your sword and dig up all those thorns which have grown up around Mohammed-may the blessing of God be upon him and his children-so that we may be blessed both in this world and the world to come. I shall be glad to receive any suggestions or any advice from any reader of this paper." 2

1 The Moslem World, vol. xi. pp. 232, 233, 234.

2 Robert E. Speer's Report on India and Persia, pp.381-382.


Not only in Turkey and in Persia but in Mecca itself voices have been pleading for religious liberty. In 1899 a conference was held, or is supposed to have been held in Mecca, on the problem of Islam's decay and disintegration The full report; of these discussions make an interesting study of Islamic thought, and was published at Cairo under the title, Um-al-Qura, i.e. "Mother of all cities," Mecca. Eighty-six causes for the decline and disintegration of Islam are noted. One of the delegates said the decline of Islam is due "not to our rulers, because they are only selected by their subjects. What we are, our rulers will be. I believe that the cause of our calamity is the loss of liberty. We do not know what liberty means, because we do not have it. The one who enjoys it can define it thus: it is the virtue by which man is free in word and in action, and in no way or manner is antagonized. It must touch several departments; it must advocate human rights, and hold rulers responsible, because they are the representatives of the public. They should not hesitate to execute justice, and ought not to be afraid in giving the needed advice. And again there must be freedom in education and freedom in public speech; freedom of the press and freedom in scientific discussions. And there must be liberty in doing justice, so that no one should fear a man who is wicked, treacherous and perfidious. There must be, above all, a liberty in religion, the virtue that will vindicate the rights of men and secure the honour of the family; that will encourage education and make it thrive. Liberty is the soul of religion. Doubtless, liberty is the dearest thing to man after his life. To lose it is to banish hope, and check labour; to let the soul expire, the laws die and the rules be transgressed."

Surely when such voices are heard in Turkey, Persia, and even from Mecca, we may take courage. The cry for national independence includes far more than a desire for self-government. Islam itself must to-day face a crisis in the hearts of Moslems. The character of the Koran, the life of the Prophet of Arabia, and the legislation based upon both, all conflict with religious freedom. Missionaries and converts may together find strength in the thought that Islam is being brought before the judgment of history. This judgment will be more relentless,


more searching more just than any private judgment could be. It alone is final. In this faith we can rest and wait. Meanwhile there will arise in all lands an ever-increasing number of converts from Islam who will fearlessly face the law of apostasy because of their love for Jesus Christ.

The Law of Apostasy
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