Hanna de Jong-Markus

Chapter 6 114 Protestant teachers also identified with religious others because the latter also comprised the religious minority in society. Teun, for example, said Look, you can take issue with Islam, but sometimes, they do have similar views.…Couldn’t you sometimes connect then and say: “We are very different in some things, and in other things, we think the same.” And do we then actually differ? If you look at our position and theirs, and how the outside world sees us, we are actually quite similar. Recognition The third category contained beliefs expressing the teachers’ recognition of the religious other: the religious other as a human being who deserves his or her own position. This contained the subcategories of beliefs about freedom of choice, beliefs about God seeing the heart, beliefs about human value, and beliefs about love. First, the teachers recognized or respected religious others because it was good that people (including teachers themselves) were not forced to have certain convictions and could live beside others in society with different opinions through freedom of choice. As Ruben said, “It is sad that people do not choose Jesus, but they do have that freedom. And that is good.” Second, the teachers believed that they could not and did not have to judge the relationship between the religious other and God, since God knew the hearts of religious others and that people could not transpose the Christian faith onto others. This belief often went along with feeling sorry for others or the duty to spread the faith, with teachers mentioning regularly that they pray for the religious other. According to Jan, “Experience has taught me that it comes to a point when it does not depend on you but on God.…We will leave it to God.” Third, the teachers recognized religious others because they were valuable humans like all humans and that they were created by God. As Sanne noted, “I don’t know why God brought Ali Baba64 into this world….But God has a plan with that, just like He has with you. He is desired by God.” Fourth, the teachers showed love and kindness toward religious others and were regularly motivated by the idea that a Christian should treat all people as such. This belief was mentioned by most teachers. Teun, for example, said, “Just a Christian attitude, that is, loving your neighbor as yourself, with both believers and non-believers, and that you treat everyone just the same.” God as the third party As presented above, the subcategories of distinction, identification, and recognition depicted what the teachers believed in terms of the relationship between themselves 64 The teacher used “Ali Baba” to indicate a random Muslim.