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Christian terms in Arabic

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The following list consists of concepts that are derived from both Christian and Arab tradition, which are expressed as words and phrases in the Arabic language. These terms are included as transliterations, often accompanied by the original Arabic-alphabet orthography. Although Islam is the dominant religion among Arabs, there are a significant number of Arab Christians in regions that were formerly Christian, such as much of the Byzantine empire's lands in the Middle East, so that there are over twenty million Arab Christians (Significant populations in Egypt, Lebanon, Brazil, Mexico, Jordan, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, USA, Canada, UK and Australia. living around the world. Christianity has existed in the Arab world since the 1st century. Readers should also note that Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, and that different individuals and Christian groups may transliterate certain Arabic words into the Latin alphabet in various ways.

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al-Āb (الآب) 
God the Father
Allāh (الله) 
literally "God"; is also used as a religious term by Arab Muslims and Arab Jews.
Roman Catholics in Malta call God Alla in the Maltese language. The name Allah is also used by Christians in predominantly Islamic countries and countries where both faiths exist side by side regularly such as Indonesia, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Nigeria.


Bābā Nuwayl (بابا نويل) 
Santa Claus (A partial translation and partial borrowing of French "Père Noël")
Bismi l-Ābi wa l-Ibni wa r-Rūḥi l-Qudus (باسم الآب والابن والروح القدس, also spelled بسم الاب والابن والروح القدس)
"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" (See also: Trinitarian formula, Basmala). Sometimes followed by الإله الواحد al-Ilāhu l-Wāḥid "The One God", to emphasize monotheism.
Brūtistāntī (بروتستانتي) 
Protestant (a more foreign-imitating pronunciation is Prōtistāntī)


‘īd Kulli l-Qiddīsīn (عيد كل القديسين) 
All Saints' Day
‘īdu l-‘Anṣarah (عيد العنصرة) 
‘īdu l-Fiṣḥ (عيد الفصح) or ‘īdu l-Qiyāmah (عيد القيامة)
‘īdu l-Jasad (عيد الجسد) 
The Catholic feast of Corpus Christi
‘īdu l-Mīlād (عيد الميلاد) 
"Day of the Birth (of Jesus)" Christmas.
‘īdu ṣ-Ṣu‘ūdi (lil-Masīḥ) (عيد الصعود) 
Feast of Ascension
‘īdu l-Mawtā (عيد الموتى) 
All Soul's Day
Injīl (إنجيل) 
One of the four gospels (from Greek Ευαγγελιον "Good News"); Muslims use it to refer to the entire New Testament, or rather to the uncorrupted gospel of Jesus.
Iqūna (إيقونة) 


Jaras (جرس) 
Church bell


Kanīsa (كنيسة) 
Church, related to the Hebrew Knesset "Assembly". See Alcañiz for a Spanish cognate through Mozarabic.
Kathūlīkī (كاثوليكي) 
Kātidrā'iyyah كاتدرائية) 


al-Masīḥiyyah (المسيحية)
Christianity (literally "Messianity")
Masīḥī (مسيحي)
Christian (literally "of the Messiah")
Mubaššir (مبشر)
Christian missionary


Narānī (نصراني)
A traditional Islamic term for Christians (literally "Nazarene"). Arab Christians do not use it to refer to themselves. It can have a negative connotation in some contexts.
irī (ناصري) 
Person from Nazareth (also a follower of Gamal Abdel Nasser)


Orthodoxī (أرثوذكسي)


Qibti, Qubti (قبطي) 


ar-Rūu l-Qudus (الروح القدس)
The Holy Spirit


Ṣalīb (صليب)
Sim‘ānu l-Ghayūr (سِمْعَانُ الْغَيُور)
Simon the Zealot


Tabšīr (تبشير) 
literally "the Spreading of Good News" - Christian missionary work
Tajassud (تجسد) 
Incarnation (of Jesus Christ)
ath-Thālūth (الثالوث) 
The Trinity


Yasū‘ (يسوع) 
Christian Arabic version of the name of Jesus (as opposed to the Islamic Arabic term Isa عيسى)
Yawmu l-Jum‘ati l-azīna (الجمعة الحزينة)
Good Friday

See also

External links

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Published - February 2009

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