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EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL Protestantism started in Germany in the 16th century when Martin Luther opposed certain practices and beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church and finally completely broke away from it. This was the Great Schism. Since that time Protestants have split among themselves and it has been estimated that today there are more than five hundred sects. On the other hand the Roman Catholic Church has remained more or less united under the spiritual leadership of the Popes. The Church has recently been shaken by the opposition and rebellious activities of French-born Archbishop Marcel Lefebre who has been defying the directives of the Pope. The situation reached a climax when in defiance of the Pope’s instructions he consecrated four new bishops in Switzerland. He and the four bishops were immediately excommunica- ted from the Church. His loyal supporters include many priests. Schisms have occured in all religions. Islam is no exception. It is unfortunate. They have destroyed unity which is the goal of Islam – the universal brotherhood of mankind. Religious unity can only be established and maintained through the recognition of the Oneness of God and undivided obedience to Him, His Messengers and appointees which in the case of Islam refer to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi who has appeared in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad -the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, and the holy Khalifas who have succeeded him. God says in the Holy Quran: “O you who believe, obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you.” (4:60) The Holy Prophet has said: “He who obeys me obeys Allah, and he who disobeys me disobeys Allah, and he who obeys my appointee obeys me and he who disobeys my appointee disobeys me.” (Bukhari) Religious -unity depends upon spiritual discipline.