The Difference between Shiite and Sunni Muslims and Why It Matters

Lutherans and Baptists are basically the same.

Wrong, and both groups would likely agree on that point. Neither is it true that all Muslims are the same. Of the over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, around 85 percent of them are a sect called Sunni and 15 percent of them are a sect called Shia.

The split is an ancient one—1,387 years old, to be precise. But even today, it threatens the stability of the entire Middle East and offers context to many headlines we see in world news.

So how did this world religion end up with two major sects? It all started when Muhammad, the prophet and founder of Islam, died.

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