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Religious Wars Essay, Research Paper

Religion has played a key role in wars and death.

Religion is the basis of belief for humans, it is a belief that there is a higher being that watches over us guiding us, a belief that there is life after death and if we follow these beliefs we shall enter heaven the most beautiful place. However religion has also played a role in wars, religious conflicts in Ireland (Protestants and Catholics). Israelis and Arabs (Holy Land) and the Holy Crusades of the eleventh century (recapturing the Holy Land).

In Israel Jews and Arabs have been in conflict for hundreds of years because they both share religious grounds in Israel. Since the founding of Israel in 1948 there has been continuous conflict between Israel and Arab states. This conflict has been marked by six bloody wars. On both sides, religion has again and again brought the peace process to the brink of annihilation. The first spark between the two sides started in Hebron, the site of the tombs of patriarchs, building sacred to both Jews and Arabs. Early in 1994 Baruch Goldstein, a religious Jew, opened fire and killed thirty nine Arabs while at prayer. In response to the Hebron killings, two Arab suicide bombers blew up Jewish buses in northern and central Israel. Fifteen died and seventy were injured (Peres 1995 p.177-178). There are still wars going on today, Israel against Palestine

The Crusades were medieval military expeditions undertaken by European Christians to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims (Collins new English Dictionary 1997). The word crusade is taken from the Latin word crux (cross) this is a reference to the biblical injunction that Christians carry their cross. Crusaders wore a red cloth that was sewn on their tunics to show that they took on the cross and were soldiers of Christ (Runciman, Steven, A history of the Crusades, 3 vols 1951-1954; Rep 1987). The causes of the crusades were many and complex but religion was the main factor. It was regarded as justifiable war, because it was fought to recapture the places sacred to Christians. Charlemagne he made his wars of aggression definitely religious wars. All the world of north-western Europe, which is now Great Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, and Norway and Sweden, was in the ninth century an arena of bitter conflict between the old faith and the new. Nations were converted to Christianity by the sword just like Islam in Arabia, Central Asia, and Africa had converted whole nations a century ago. With his sword Charlemagne preached the Gospel of the cross to the Saxons, Bohemians, and as far as the Danube which is now Hungary. As the Christian propaganda of Charlemagne swept towards the shores of the north and Baltic Seas, the pagans were driven to sea. They retaliated for the Christian persecutions with plundering raids and expeditions against Christian England

Ireland has had a history of religious conflicts the I.R.A. (Irish Republican Army)

against the Protestants. In 1829 Catholics were not suitable for schools throughout Ireland they were only suitable for Protestants. The Catholic peasantry were still called on to pay tithes, and they continued to be harassed by the exactions of tithe-proctors and others, who if the money was not forthcoming, seized the poor peoples cows, furniture, beds, blankets, kettles, or anything they could lay their hands on (History Of Nations 12 Ireland-Scotland p.224).The Catholics were a minority in Ireland much like in the history of Quebec where the English conquered the French, the French were considered lower forms of humans they weren?t up to English standards. As the years past the Catholics started to get back at the Protestants forming the I.R.A. I.R.A. and Protestant killings continued into the early 1900s, Britain began launching multi party- talks with the goal of forging a new assembly for northern Ireland and new relations between the north and Irish republic. By 1999, Protestant and Catholic negotiators had turned their efforts to another serious menace to the peace accord: a decision on how and when to dispose of military arms and munitions held by the two sides. Days of intensive negotiations in the spring and summer of 1999 but no agreement was reached. In August 1998 terrorists detonated a car bomb in the town square of Omagh, killing 28 people. It was the single worst terrorist incident since the beginning of conflict in the late 1960s. A splinter group of mostly Catholic I.R.A. known as the ?Real I.R.A,? claimed responsibility for the attack

Religions the main factor of war, people fight, kill because of different beliefs different celebrations, dressing differently these things start because different countries have laws based on religion and others think it to be stupid, too lenient or to strict. The world trade centre was a Muslim Radical group who had taken over Afghanistan took the rights of women away and was a dictatorship attacking a free country because they rule differently, because criminals are treated fairly, justice gets served but not to the extent of an eye for an eye. Then in North America, minor attacks on the Muslim people who were not even involved in the terrorist attacks. It seems that people take to believe that their religion is the only one to be true and that if you believe in another you will never go to Heaven. In a way people are ignorant to think that there is only one religion to live by, if it were that case we would live in the world that Hitler wanted. A world without cultural differences. To think that people will stop the religious conflicts is to dream, for as long as humans have walked the earth and believed in a higher being. Conflicts have come from everywhere; people try to convert others the Black Robes in New France (Canada) who tried to convert the Algonquians from Animalism, Indians and Black Robes died because of that. Religious conflicts have been everywhere and they are still around if only we could learn that difference is good, to learn together and to work together. In conclusion I am not an atheist I just feel that humans feel to strongly about that higher being which we have never seen before, but are so willing to kill and die for it.

Collins, 1997, New English Dictionary

Collier & Son. P. F. 1913 History of Nations vol.12. Ireland-Scotland

Peres, Shimon. 1995. The New Middle East. New York: Henry Holt and Company

Wells, H.G. 1949. The Outline of History .1. U.S.A: Doubleday & Company

Wells, H.G. 1925. The Outline of History vol.3. Fourth Edition Revised. U.S.A: Review of Reviews Company

Washington Post.1998 Washington Post Internet: www.washingtonpost.com

Runciman, Steven. 1951-1954 Rep; 1987 A History of The Crusades 3 vols

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