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Religion and Violence

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Religionand Violence

Religious conflicts have been common because of the differences thateach group possesses. More importantly, monotheism has resulted inviolent tolerant ideals and teachings that have ignored the safety ofthe people in the society. Hence, they will kill anyone that does andworship their supreme being. In some cases, the same violence is alsosupported by their scriptures and that has encouraged them to engagein such evil acts. Furthermore, the religion has also evoked somepolitical and cultural differences that promoted the violence in thesociety. This essay will reveal how the holy books justify violencewhile most religion groups have facilitated the cultural andpolitical ideologies that have escalated to war among them.

Some of the religions have endorsed violence in their holy books, andthat has encouraged the other followers to perpetuate suchideologies. Various religions have been associated with the violencein the history. In fact, Christianity has been also associated withviolence that was waged on other religions such as the Jews andMuslims too. Often, Muslims are the ones viewed as the violentreligion because of the Islamic militant groups that often terrorizepeople. However, the Crusaders that were Christians were associatedwith the killing of the Jews and the Muslims as they spread theirreligion all over the world (Alcorta &amp Sosis, 572). In this case,the violence has spread some of these religious groups feel liketheir holy books have endorsed the practices. For instance, the Bookof Judges in the Bible have insists how God commanded his people totake various weapons and attack their enemies. The Israelites tooktheir arms and went to revenge certain acts of war that were doneagainst them. God promised to protect them in the war, and that showshow He had supported their acts. Some Christian groups might use thescriptures as a way to support their higher levels of aggression thatthey might use in attacking others (Alcorta &amp Sosis, 580). Thesuicide bombers and the Islamic militants have often claimed thatthey are engaging in a holy war, and Allah has certified theiractivities. Some of them might argue that they will be awardedseveral virgin girls once they reach Heaven (Alcorta &amp Sosis,583). The two examples reveal how the specific religion tends tosupport violence, and their followers will use such assumptions inattacking others. Instead, they have ignored a rationalinterpretation of the scriptures and considering the rights thatother people have on earth.

The Christians and the Muslims have ideologies that insist onmonotheism and violent tolerant teachings that have facilitated thehigh rate of conflicts among various communities. In this case, thereligions associated with the Abraham’s teachings such as Judaism,Christianity, and Islam have often orchestrated hate among itsfollowers. More specifically, the religious groups have shown how theGod of Abraham hates other gods or idols that other people might beworshiping (Huber, 3). In the process, each of these religious groupsbelieves that the other one is made up of the gods that the God ofAbraham has often talked about. The fact that God despises othersupreme beings has led to the particular religious groups hating theother ones. In fact, some of the minor conflicts have escalated intohate and violence among them. Some of the Israelites even begankilling any pagans since they wanted a world that only had peoplethat worshiped their one God (Huber, 4). They even destroyed theirtemples, and the icons they had created of their gods. From thatpoint, such groups have developed animosity towards the otheropposing religions. They cannot agree with any other faction thatworships multiple gods since they believe that they are the righteouspeople. The religions have failed to acknowledge that the world hasdifferent beliefs and practices too. For instance, they will expectevery religious group to have the same ideologies as they do.Instead, they will not interact with the other groups, and they willwage war on the other ones that do not support monotheism based onslight mistakes. The small differences might even escalate to wars,but, the main reason remains to be the unique religious beliefs.

Religion often results in the political differences where the peoplewill base their arguments on such assumptions. For instance, some ofthe religions will give rise to certain political ideologies thatwill separate the two distinct groups. In particular, Nigeria is aperfect example of the political and cultural groups that will arisebecause of the religious differences. Nigeria is divided into Muslimand Christians that have distinct identities and the two also dosupport unique cultures. The Evangelical Christians in the Northernpart are financed by the Americans that support their culturalpractices and the religious principles that they have adopted(Sampson, 107). On the other hand, the Islamic fundamentalists in theSouthern part are supported by the Saudi petrodollars that havecemented their ideals in the region. In this case, the politicaldifferences have resulted in political ideologies that havefacilitated the animosity between the two groups. More important, theArab nations have spread the enmity between them and the US to theSouthern Nigeria. In the process, their religious differences haveescalated to the political assumptions. In fact, from 1990 to 2007,the civil war between the two groups has even resulted in the deathof about 20,000 people (Sampson, 105). The Islamic militants look atthe Christians in the Northern region as the traitors that havedecided to work with the Americans that are their enemies. Some ofthe militants have even abducted any Europeans working in the oilfields that are in the region. Instead, they do not want anyChristians since they believe that the Americans want to exploit themand siphon their oil. The scenario justifies that religion will causesome of the political ideologies that will create a larger riftbetween the two disputing groups instead.

Religion differences make one group look at another faction asnon-believers that have strange cultural practices. In this case, theunique culture will result in tensions and conflicts between the twogroups that might even engage in war. For instance, theAnti-Semitists have often waged violence against gays since they lookat their lifestyle as strange beliefs that violate their religiouspractices. Most of them tend to base their violent acts on theintolerant religious ideologies that are a product of the Abrahamteachings. Some of these religious groups have failed to base theirattacks on the rational assumptions, and it seems like theirreligious ideals have clearly misled them (Fair et al., 53). Forinstance, the prejudices have blinded them from having a skepticaloutlook at the homosexuals that have adopted a cultural practice thatis strange to their religion. Apart from that, Mohammed Merah, whowas a French citizen and an immigrant from Algeria had killed fouradults and three children based on the religious differences. Later,he explained that he had committed the killings based on theassumption that France had prohibited people from covering theirbodies in the public areas (Sampson, 114). In particular, he knewthat their dressing had violated the nation’s laws and he decidedto use violence as a way of expressing his anger. The two examplesreveal how other religions often use violence since the other grouphas ended up using strange cultural beliefs. Instead, they often wantpeople around them to use the same culture as they do. Morespecifically, the violence is based on some irrational and intolerantteachings that were presented some centuries ago.

The religious differences have led to the insiders believing thatthey are right while the outsiders are often wrong, and that hasincreased the likelihood of war between them. For instance, theMuslims tend to refer to the non-believers as “kafir” to insisthow they do not have any worth in the society. In fact, the Islamicmilitants will feel happy when they bomb and kill the people fromother religions since they are simply “kafirs” that do not existin their religious hierarchy (Huber, 5). On the other hand, thenon-believers might also decide to revenge the attacks since theywant justice. Besides that, the Christians have often engaged in amission to save the pagans and persuade them to join their religiousgroup. Furthermore, the Protestants have made various journeys aroundthe world to urge others that they are the righteous one. In thepast, the Christians preaching in favor of individual salvation amonggroups of other different religions were faced with hostility (Huber,5). Hence, the idea of some religious groups believing that they areright while others are wrong has often orchestrated the violence inthe society. More specifically, people have ignored the rationalthinking that will portray the reality rather than the misguidednotions that they keep practicing. In this case, each religion needsto employ the use of a skeptical outlook that will reveal multipleperspectives that they need to adopt in their daily use and avoid anytension or signs of conflicts instead.

In conclusion, religion has led to conflicts since some of the holybooks have endorsed violence through the cultural and the politicaldifferences. In particular, the society is forced to deal withreligions that tolerate violence and the religions associated withAbraham have shown how they prioritize monotheism and hate othergods. Religion often perpetuates the ideology that they have theright beliefs while others are wrong. For instance, Muslims willbelieve that they have the right assumptions while the Christians andother religions are on the wrong side. The differences that suchreligions portray assert that they support violence and they willmost likely use the same tactics in stopping any of the opposingreligious groups around them.

Works Cited

Alcorta, Candace, and Richard Sosis. &quotRitual, religion, andviolence: An evolutionary perspective.&quot Handbook of Religionand Violence (2013): 571-596.

Fair, C. Christine, Neil Malhotra, and Jacob N. Shapiro. &quotFaithor doctrine? Religion and support for political violence inPakistan.&quot Public Opinion Quarterly (2012): 53.

Huber, Wolfgang. &quotReligion and violence in a globalised world.&quotVerbum et Ecclesia 32.2 (2011): 1-8.

Sampson, Isaac Terwase. &quotReligious violence in Nigeria: Causaldiagnoses and strategic recommendations to the state and religiouscommunities.&quot African Journal on Conflict Resolution 12.1(2012): 103-134.