Religious Wars Essay

1045 words - 4 pages

Religious WarsReligion 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 PalestineThe 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 EnglandIreland has had a history of religious conflicts the I.R.A. (Irish Republican Army)against the Protestants. In 1829 Catholics were not suitable for...

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