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My family owns several charms—such as necklaces, bracelets, and small stones—with the Evil Eye symbol on it.

My family is Christian, and if I remember correctly the Evil Eye is of Turkish origin. This would imply that the Evil Eye has Muslim roots.

What could possibly explain why my Christian family owns items of Muslim origin? The artistry of the piece is indeed something that would warrant owning it, but my mom has spoken to me of it religiously, in that it "wards off evil spirits."

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Turkish origin is hardly an implication of Muslim origin... Turkey was full of Christians for centuries. –  Flimzy Aug 30 '11 at 22:41
    
I do not know what to say to this... What kind of Christian denominations do your parents follow? –  Phonics The Hedgehog Aug 30 '11 at 22:44
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@Purmou: My point is that most of Turkey's population has not always been Muslim, therefore without more context, it's impossible to draw the conclusion that "if it came from Turkey it is likely of Muslim origin." –  Flimzy Aug 30 '11 at 22:47
    
Does this have something to do with Illuminati? –  Boris_yo Aug 8 '12 at 10:24
    
You don't have to do this, but I strongly recommend that you tag this question with the eastern-orthodox tag. –  maj nem ɪz dæn Sep 8 '13 at 4:44

2 Answers 2

The so called "Evil Eye" is a classic example of spiritual syncretism. It's origin is neither Christian nor Muslim — yet the belief system that it stands for has through long proximity been partially assimilated by adherents to both of of those religions.

It goes several names, but for example in Turkey it is usually known as Nazar. It is simply a symbol, usually a concentric pattern of circles in blue and white, that is supposed to ward off evil spirits. The symbol is so universal in Turkey that it is almost impossible to avoid. Even as a Christian with no interest in having them around I am constantly finding the things floating around my house. They are printed on receipts, dropped as tokens into shopping bags and boxes, woven into clothing, left behind by wary guests, and generally come out of the woodwork like dust bunnies.

Nazar Boncuğu

The Nazar or Evil Eye symbol is actually just the most visible of many Animistic beliefs. The use of this symbol is actually fundamentally incompatible with Islam, but the two beliefs are widely practiced side by side and people are generally unaware of the conflict of interest they pose to each other.

In addition to being incompatible with Islam, belief in the Evil Eye to ward off evil spirits is almost universally seen as incompatible with the core doctrines of Christianity (as are almost all other incarnations of Animism). If some of our trust for safety is placed in something other than Christ, that thing becomes an idol that detracts from our focus on our Savior. The one who is able to protect us from all evil Spirits is the one who Himself triumphed over them:

Colossians 2:15 (ESV) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

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"If some of our trust for safety is placed in something other than Christ." Does this mean you would advocate not locking doors at night, or wearing a safety belt while driving? –  Flimzy Aug 31 '11 at 5:47
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@Flimzy: No. A little earthly prudence is not at all the same thing as hedging your spiritual bets! –  Caleb Sep 1 '11 at 20:10
    
Very interesting, Caleb. Does that mean using crosses or garlic or holy water to steer away vampires would be considered incompatible with Christianity too? –  Anonymous Sep 7 '13 at 23:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Further investigation (both on the internet and with my family) led me to discover that the Evil Eye has a counterpart in my religion—the Nazar (which raises an interesting point of why this is not so in Turkey, as Caleb pointed out).

The Nazar is meant to ward off the Evil Eye, which is described in my religion as nothing more than a manifestation of evil (could be a person staring at you, could be a stone that looks freakishly like an eye, etc.).

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