Thursday, July 4, 2013

War in the name of religion

During the course of history, many have fought countless battles in the name of religion, in the name of God. However, it is important to point out the economic, political and social reasons for these wars. Ecumenical Patriarch talks about war in the name of religion, explaining:

“I have repeatedly maintained that war in the name of religion is war against religion. War in the name of God is offensive to God. Religious fanaticism and political activism must be distinguished from religious belief and political realism. It is not religions but the distortion of religious conviction into fundamentalism and fanaticism that leads to destructive and bloody confrontations, which ultimately only compete for secular and political domination.
And all religions are to blame, not so much for the violence that is carried out in their name as for the violence that they have not avoided by their silence. Even so-called pacifist religions cannot avoid the charge that some people lay against all faiths for providing a justification for violent actions and persecution in the name of God”[1].

Many might wish to use religion as a way to back their political agendas. This has been a practice since the beginning of time. Nevertheless, religion and its leaders need to point out peace and dialogue. They need to promote the idea of love, just as Christ did.

[1] Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Encountering the Mystery, (New York, Doubleday, 2008), p. 225 

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