One question I have always pondered over is about
good Hindus and good Muslims. What happens to them
at the day of judgment ? Will they be condemned
because they did not accept Jesus Christ as savior,
even though they lived a very pious and morally
I am sure some of my Orthodox Christian brethren who
are members of this forum also have thought about that
at some point in time. I recently read an interview
with the Eastern Orthodox Archbishop Anastasios of
Tirana and All Albania where the same question was
posed to him. I found his answer very interesting and
wanted to share it with the rest of you. Below is the
question, and the answer of the Archbishop.
Those who have never encountered Christ, and may piously
observe the rules of their own particular faith (for
example, good Muslims), will they be saved?
You know that the understanding of the other faiths
is an extremely important theological question: Is God
present in them? I do not think that we can answer this
question very quickly. Today we face two major
theological problems. The first is ecclesiological, it
is the complex problem of how we see the other churches.
And the second is the understanding of the other
religions. Of course we accept that God has providence
and interest for the whole world. We do not know clearly
how this presence manifests itself. We know clearly what
is the sure way for salvation to follow. As far as others
are concerned, we have the responsibility to pray and to
give them our witness, but we cannot take from Him the
last judgment and say now just how He would judge others.
And we must be a little more humble than some of our
brothers who know everything about God, [and] behave
like spokesmen of God: 'God will act like this or that.'
Let us accept that we do not know the whole mystery of
God, and we do not know about His infinite love. We must
develop an understanding of other religions from an
Orthodox point of view. We need to see this in the
Trinitarian perspective and not only Christological. In
some protestant circles it happens that they see this
in Christological terms only. But in the Orthodox Church
we consider that God's covenant has always extended to
other peoples, to the whole creation. We also understand
that the Spirit works in a freedom that we do not know.
You can read the full interview from the link below:
Mathew G M
St.Johns Church, Ayyampalli