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War is an organized and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by states or non-state actors. It is generally characterised by extreme violence, social disruption and economic destruction. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of political violence or intervention. The set of techniques used by a group to carry out war is known as warfare. An absence of war is usually called peace. A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. Today we have invited our special guests of panel to discuss about the topic “Does Religion Cause War”.
To discuss about the Does religion cause war?
On this planet Earth, there have been many wars fought over many different things. They can range from freedom, oil, and religion. There were many wars fought over religion. For example, the thirty years war. The thirty years war was one of the major wars fought over religion. It was mostly fought in what’s now Germany. The thirty years war was one of the absolute longest and most destructive, and brutal conflicts in European history.
The war was mainly between Protestants and Roman Catholics; although, this eventually turned into a war including most of the European powers.
The major effect of The Thirty Years War was destroying entire regions. In Germany, the disease and famine greatly decreases population, while bankrupting most of the combatant powers. Although the regiments within each military were not strictly mercenary in that they were not guns for hire that changed sides from battle to battle, the soldiers that made up the regiments for the most part probably were. Another example of a war fought over religion was the Crusades. The Crusades were some of the most famous wars, and fought over religion.
The Crusades were a series of wars blessed by the Pope, and Catholic Church. Their main goal was to regain Christian access to the city of Jerusalem, and holy places around it. The Crusades were actually originally launched to repel the expansion into Anatolia. Several hundred thousand soldiers became Crusaders by taking vows; the Pope granted them plenary indulgence. Their emblem was the cross, “crusade” is derived from the French term for taking up the cross. Many were from France and called themselves “Franks,” which became the common term used by Muslims.
The term “crusade” is also used to describe religiously motivated campaigns conducted between 1100 and 1600 in territories outside the Levant usually against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious, economic, and political In the eyes of many, religion is inherently conflictual, but this is not necessarily so. Therefore, in part, the solution is to promote a heightened awareness of the positive peace building and reconciliatory role religion has played in many conflict situations. More generally, fighting ignorance can go a long way.
Interfaith dialogue would be beneficial at all levels of religious hierarchies and across all segments of religious communities. Where silence and misunderstanding are all too common, learning about other religions would be a powerful step forward. Being educated about other religions does not mean conversion but may facilitate understanding and respect for other faiths. Communicating in a spirit of humility and engaging in self-criticism would also be helpful. In recent times further back in history to Hinduism or Judaism along with other religious beliefs.
During the same time period there have also been a large number of wars and battles between countries. Many argue that politics are the causes of these wars; however others claim that it is religion which is the main reason. Religion has had a large influence on many conflicts in the past. While some argue that religion is the cause of wars, it is inconclusive whether war would or would not exist if there was no such thing as religion. Some would say The Crusades are a major example of religion causing war.
From the 11th century to the 13thcentury Christian states in Europe launched what are sometimes called Holy Wars against Muslims in the East. These wars centred on the city of Jerusalem which held a Holy significance in the Christian world. However when 3000 Christians were massacred, this began the ‘retaliation’ and therefore the beginning of The Crusades to release the Holy City of Jerusalem from the rule of Muslims. In this example, religion has clearly caused The Crusades as there would not have been any war if the city of Jerusalem did not have Christian significance.
However, a contrary argument to this would be that it was the massacre of 3000 Christians which caused The Crusades to begin and not because of differing religious beliefs, although it is unquestionable that religion played a major part in the beginning of the Crusades as the massacre may not have taken place without a religious background. As the argument for religion causing war heavily outweighs the opposing argument, in this context it is fair to say that using this example, religion does cause war. The Israel-Arab wars from 1948 to the present day are often seen as wars over religion.
In fact, they say, they have been about nationalism, self-defence or the liberation of territory. So why is religion a factor in war at all when all the main faiths have little time for violence and advocate peace? Because, it is suggested, leaders use differences over faith as a way of sowing hatred and mobilising support for political wars. As the American civil war leader Abraham Lincoln put it almost 150 years ago: “The will of God prevails. “In great contests, each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, but one must be wrong. “God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. “
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