It is superior because of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
What I’m getting at is that Christianity is the only religion that does not ignore or skirt the issue of suffering. Indeed terrible suffering is at the very heart of our religion. Our central icon is a crucifix. Our central act of worship is a commemoration and re-presentation of the execution of an innocent victim.
Other religions skirt the issue. Buddhism and Hinduism teach that suffering is part of the karmic cycle and the way to avoid suffering is to rise above it through detachment from the material world. Epicureanism avoids the issue by teaching one to “eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you die.” While Stoicism teaches that one must accept suffering, if possible, with dignity, do one’s duty and pass on. Islam teaches that suffering is God’s arbitrary choice, and don’t ask questions. Primitive religions have no problem with suffering because they do not have a God who is good. Suffering for them is simply part of the cosmos and fatalism is their creed. Judaism comes closest to Christianity in that the Jews accept suffering as an inexplicable part of being the chosen people of God.
But consider what we do with suffering. We struggle over the question, “How can a good God allow suffering?” We rage over the question. We debate it and people become atheists because of this terrible conundrum.
And Christians (and most especially Catholic Christians) say, “Yes, it is a problem, but the whole reason for the whole religion is our answer to the problem. This is not something we sweep under the carpet. This is not something we ignore. Suffering is the whole problem, and the answer is the point of our whole religion. We preach the cross of Christ crucified.”
We see suffering as a result of free will and free will as the requirement for true love to exist. If you cannot love freely you cannot love. That free will ultimately produces bad choices and those bad choices produce suffering.
We acknowledge that suffering is the problem, and innocent suffering is really the problem. Furthermore, within the problem is the solution and within the question lies the answer. We see the cycle of pride which blames others, excludes others and eventually kills others and Jesus Christ comes into the midst of that cycle of pride and takes the blame. He reverses the cycle and by rising from the dead defeats the power of suffering from the inside out.”
Christianity is the one religion that plunges into the depth of the suffering, wrestles with the darkness and come out the other side, bloodied but triumphant.
We say this is what our hero Christ the Lord did on Good Friday, and this is why we say he is our Savior–because he wrestled with the devil, went through the dark and came out the other side. From that time on suffering had lost it’s sting an death lost its stench.
For those who would follow him there was hope. For those who would walk with him there was light on the other side and calm after the terrible storm.