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Are Christians the cause of wars and human conflict?

Are Christians the cause of wars and human conflict?  Atheists seem to think so.

"for everyone with eyes to see, there can be no doubt that religious faith remains a perpetual source of human conflict." ~ Sam Harris, the Freedom from Religion Foundation  "Only the willfully blind could fail to implicate the divisive force of religion in most, if not all, of the violent enmities in the world today." ~ Richard Dawkins

This bias has recently been successfully taught in schools throughout the world. A 2006 poll in Great Britain showed that 82% of adults think that religion is the "cause of division and tension between people."  

Is this a simplistic view of a complex subject?  "When someone suggests a simple answer to something as complex as war, it probably is too simple. History is usually more complicated than we would like it to be... it can be difficult to separate political, cultural, and religious motivations..." ~ Don Closson

In reality, religion has sometimes been the cause of war.  Sometimes, the situation is much more complex.  Sometimes, religion is a restraining influence.  And Religions vary in their violence--some religions are very violent while others are non-violent. The religion that is the greatest cause of war over the last 100 years is the religion of Secular Humanism, which is attempting to enforce there dogmas of materialism and moral relativism on nations.  And Secular Humanist-driven wars have caused death, destruction, and human suffering on a scale that has never previously been known.  Secular ideas such as Communism and Nazi Fascism have been open in admitting that they feel that violence is a valid means to their desired ends.
  • WWI: 8.5 million deaths
  • Communism (grounded in Darwinism and rejection Christian beliefs) Russian Civil War or 1917: 9 million deaths
  • Nazi fascism (grounded in Darwinism and rejection Christian beliefs) WWII: 60 million deaths

The great wars of the Persians, Greeks, and Romans were not for the purpose of religion, though the people of these countries did ask their gods to give them victory in their wars.  These wars were for the expected motives: greed, extending the empire, pride, defeating enemies, etc.  The same could be said for the wars of the Goths, Huns, Franks, Vikings, Mongols, and Timur Leng.  Also, the French-English wars, the American Revolution, and the Napoleonic wars were not based in religion, though religion may have been used as a political tool to build consensus.  These wars were not based on religion.  None of these wars were used to promote the cause of Christ.

There are a few of instances where religion was probably a large cause of the cause of a conflict.  One is the original Islamic expansion and the struggle with Christianity which included the Crusades during the Middle Ages.  The other was the war at the time of the Reformation in Europe between the Protestants and the Catholics.  Keep in mind that even this was largely political and the war itself was hardly Christian in nature.  It certainly was not in keeping with the precepts of the Bible.  Some of the battles for the promised land that is recorded in the Bible may be the only war that was ordered by God as a punishment against the evil people who were occupying the promised land.  However, there is a huge difference between religion and a command from God.  Religion begins in humanity.  A command from God originates from God.

While the pretense of Christianity has been used to justify forced conversion and violence against unbelievers, such an action makes no sense in the light of the Bible.  The pretense of Christianity was a clever cloak used by politicians, some of whom held high offices in the degraded Catholic Church organization.

Islam is another story.  Islam is more than a religion.  It is also a political system and a world-domination system.  Where Christianity looks forward to a coming Kingdom that will be established by Christ, Islam looks for world domination executed by Muslims through various forms of Jihad (Holy War).

(More Information and References)

Last updated: Jul, 2011
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