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Hostilities in the name of a God are not a new phenomenon.

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Religion is an institution and governs the behavior of humans and provides guidelines, rules and principles relating to the disciples with his God. In most religious teachings, those who fail to follow the principles must pay penance or penalty and some believe that disaster will fall on the whole society, not just the individual, if religious rules are not respected. It is these beliefs, carried to the extreme, that have resulted in confrontation. Throughout history, governments have mobilized their armies in the name of God. Extremist organisations have organised themselves as military units and military actions in the name of religion will continue.


The First Crusade started in 1095 with the battle cry, "God wills it." Gathering Crusaders in Germany plundered their way to Jerusalem, where they killed virtually every live on their way.


The “Thirty Years' War”. produced the largest religious death toll of all time. It began in 1618 in Prague, when Lutheran leaders threw two Catholic Emissaries out of a window into a dung heap. War flared between Catholic and Lutheran Princedoms, drawing in supportive religious troops from various European nations. After three decades of war, Germany's population dropped from 18 million to 4 million.


Religious violence was not limited to Europeans; however, Christianity has a much sadder historic record of intolerance.


The 12th century is identified, through the Muslim onslaught, as the final curtain for Buddhism in India and numerous monasteries were destroyed by naphtha and fire, including Nalanda, one of the first great universities in recorded history. The invaders, were not aiming exclusively at Buddhists, nor were the really conscious of what they destroyed. As iconoclasts, they wish to extinguish any non-Islamic elements and the Islamic forces began to kill and slaughter on the right and on the left unmercifully, throughout the “impure” land, for the sake of Islam.


When India won independence from Britain in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi was not able to prevent the confrontation between Hindus and Muslims.


Armed confrontation between Muslims and Jews in Palestine dates back to the 18th century and violence in the Middle East continues to this day as fundamentalists assert their views.


Fundamentalists have surfaced in every religion. They want to drag religion to the political center stage. Some fear that freedom and liberty will wipe out religion. This fear has caused them to lash out violently against non-secular governments, people believe so strongly that they must convert others to their way of thinking and history shows that intense beliefs produce intense hostility.


Fundamentalism is on the rise within a lot of religions, as long as there are intense religious beliefs and military action undertaken in the name of their God will continue.


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Many religions are abused by worldly leaders to unify a people. The clerical hierarchy offers a very interesting way of communication (rather indoctrination). Not that long ago, the high positions in clergy were held by nobility. Younger brothers were bought a title as bishop or cardinal and so helped to rule the nation through religion.

In this modern world, the bond between politics and religion weakens and so does that hierarchy. This opens the doors to fanatics.

Mighty institutes with established communication channels are waiting for well organized fanatics. And that's what we see now. But it has always been that way. Umberto Ecco's "In the name of the rose" is an interesting and pleasant book to read on this subject (political and religious interference).



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