As far back as we would like to journey Religious wars have been going on and continue to go on. People have decimated city and countries all in the name of Religion. The Crusades and the Muslim wars they all played a pivotal role in the formation of how we think and view Religion today.
We have embarked on this journey to dissect some of the modern conflicts that go on and continue to go on all in the name of Religion.
The original meaning of Religion is properly the Worship given to God and it wasn’t until the turn of the 18th century that the word Religion took on a plural meaning to describe the beliefs of a person. So as we embark keep in mind that Religion was the word given to properly worship God.
A few weeks ago in London, in broad day light a Muslim convert walked up to a British Solider and killed him, saying it is because of his beliefs that he had to kill this solider. In the south pacific you have men killing women because they are said to be witches. Is it Religion that is driving these conflicts or is it something else?
In Ireland there has been continuous conflict going on between the Protestants and the Catholics. But do they represent every protestant or every catholic in the world, so why has the conflict been isolated only to Ireland? There are Catholics and Protestants all over the world. Could this be an ethnic battle?
What about the Palestinians and the Israelites. They have been fighting for centuries literally. But is their present day fight all about religion? Has anything changed from the time when Joshua went to claim the land that was promised to Abraham and his many descendants, the land that was flowing with milk and honey “the Promised Land”. The question is, is the fight just about land? As far as we know, God told the people of Israel never to divide the land. So is that a war in the name of Religion or is it a war to protect what they see as their land.
We will also look at what is called Ethnic Cleansing, is that a battle in the name of Religion or a form of genocide, The Nazi’s did it, the Africans did it and still doing it, Russians and Serbs have done it, but is it Religion or mass murder? People all around the world have killed for reasons unclear to the rest of the world, but it first started in the bible so let us take this journey together to see what man has done over the course centuries citing in the name of Religion.
Over the next few weeks we will take a journey down the Religious lane throughout history. We will look into the major religions and what they believe and then look into the wars and conflicts that have occurred over time and let you decide if it was in the name of religion or were these simply conflicts that were disguised to be a religious war to get accreditation. As it seems if you label it a religious fight and in the name of GOD, Allah or Jehovah then somewhere down the line people will either listen to your cause or become afraid of your cause either way they will know about it and begin to record the logistics of the who, what, when and why, because it appears to me that persons starting these conflicts are more concerned about memorializing their names instead of resolving the conflicts.
Let us first look at the World’s leading Religions….
Buddhism is a spiritual tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development and the attainment of a deep insight into the true nature of life. There are approximately 376 million followers worldwide.
Buddhists seek to reach a state of nirvana, following the path of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who went on a quest for Enlightenment around the sixth century BC.
There is no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible. The path to Enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom.
Buddhists believe that life is both endless and subject to impermanence, suffering and uncertainty. These states are called the tilakhana, or the three signs of existence. Existence is endless because individuals are reincarnated over and over again, experiencing suffering throughout many lives.
It is impermanent because no state, good or bad, lasts forever. Our mistaken belief that things can last is a chief cause of suffering.
The word Islam means 'submission to the will of God'.
Islam is the second largest religion in the world with over 1 billion followers. The 2001 census recorded 1,591,000 Muslims in the UK, around 2.7% of the population. Muslims believe that Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia. Followers of Islam are called Muslims.
Muslims believe that there is only One God. The Arabic word for God is Allah. According to Muslims, God sent a number of prophets to mankind to teach them how to live according to His law. Jesus, Moses and Abraham are respected as prophets of God. They believe that the final Prophet was Muhammad.
Muslims believe that Islam has always existed, but for practical purposes, date their religion from the time of the migration of Muhammad. Muslims base their laws on their holy book the Qur'an, and the Sunnah. Muslims believe the Sunnah is the practical example of the Prophet Muhammad and that there are five basic Pillars of Islam. These pillars are the declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and a pilgrimage to Mecca (at least once).
Christianity is the most popular religion in the world with over 2 billion followers. Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And that God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of it’s sins.
One of the most important concepts in Christianity is that of Jesus gave his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion) and rose from the dead on the third day (the Resurrection).
Christians believe that there is only one God, but that there are three elements to this one God: God the Father, God the Son and The Holy Spirit. Christians typically worship in churches and their spiritual leaders are called priests or ministers. The Christian holy book is the Bible, and consists of the Old and New Testaments.
While conducting the research on religions, it should be noted that Judaism is not one of the top religions in the world, in fact there are only a select number of countries that have Judaism listed as a religion.
Let us first look at all of the wars or battles that happened in the bible because it was these battles that formed a pattern or blueprint for all other battles to come.
From Moses to Hezekiah the battles began to possess the land and to cleanse the land of persons who didn’t have The LORD GoD as their God and then it was to protect the land and keep it to themselves. As part of the covenant that God made with the Israelites now “Israelis”, God told them never to divide the land and keep all the land that was meant for their children and their children’s children. So along comes Abraham who had two sons, one was to be the son of promise and the second which was the first born son of a hand maiden. Today’s Muslims and Israelis from that time until now the fight has always been who should posses the land and who has the rightful ownership of the land. So the children of Abraham would be as the number of the stars in the sky as it was promised to Abraham however before they knew it they sold themselves into slavery and to the power houses of the land the Egyptians. As 400 years pass up comes the man who would assist God in freeing his people from the hand of the Egyptians. Once the people of God were freed (Israelis) they began on the track to the Promised Land, but they had to fight for it. As with anything God gives us we must fight for it if we truly want it.
So the battle began as the scores of people moved through the land to get to the Promised Land. They engaged in battles to pass through the land and the simple instructions given them in Deuteronomy 20:10-18 was; when you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer the city terms of peace. And if they respond peaceably and open up to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor (put into slavery) for you and shall serve you. But if they make no peace with you, but rather makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all males in the city to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you. Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. But in the cities of these people that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded, that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the Lord your God.
The Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites all dwelled in the land of Canaan of the same background but resided in different areas but they were all known as the same people and today they are known as Palestinians. Does that make you wonder right? During one battle the Canannites bragged saying even the blind can defeat David’s Army…So here we are today 2013 and the battle between the Israelis and the Palestinians are is going on.
As we take a glimpse at the other battles during the course of history we will look at the crusades, the Muslim wars and finally the battle for the world’s land, and the cleansing of the people who do not believe what some believe, so mass murder or ethnic cleansing is the order of the day, all in the name of Religion.
So take this journey with us as we begin our walk through time as we explore what is being done in the name of Religion.