Religion Cause for Major Conflicts
Many contemporary conflicts around the world resulting to large refuge crisis is because of religious conflict, where one dominant religion of the state takes over or forces the minority religion to leave the state.
It’s nothing new. It’s been going even before the colonial period. Religion was an important tool used by the colonisers to colonise the colonised.
British East India company being a purely trading company in species and other commodities had in it’s midst a Missionary operating as a chaplain who had no interest in the welfare on the inhabitants within whom he operated. His motive was to strip the native of his power and lay him prostrate to exploitation. Using what has been termed as “soft power” the Missionaries were useful in reconciling colonial subjects to requirement s of submissions to colonial power. By the use of soft power i.e. by the use of less aggressive language were able to solicit and obtain the cooperation of the Africans in sub-Saharan Africa more readily.
Reforms the holy books have gone through to fit the socio-political scenario of that epoch of a region. The missionaries that came to Africa, to preach and spread Gospel, as mentioned in the bible’s new testament, St Mark 16 verse 5 “Go ye to the entire world, baptising all men in the name of christ.” To evangelise the pagans and win them over by “salvation of the kingdom of God”. It was a spiritual conviction of kingdom of God rather than tangible experience of kingdom of God.
The Missionary was undoubtedly the forerunner of colonists to carve an empire in Africa for exploitation of goods.
“let you light shine”, biblical verse used to state that Africa was a dark continent and the missionaries had to bear the light. Biblical platitudes of brotherhood were nothing more than a ploy to destroy the African infrastructural basis of the society.
Anthropologists of religion are not concerned with discovering the truth or falsehood of religion. They are more interested in how religious ideas express a people's cosmology, i.e. notions of how the universe is organised and the role of humans within the world. Many study rituals which incorporate symbols, and note how these often help to bring communities together in times of crisis or special points in the calendar. The actions of religious specialists, whether these are priests, prophets, shamans or spirit mediums are also examined. In many societies, such specialists have important political and economic as well as religious roles to play.
According the Burma citizenship Law of 1982, the people of Buddhist-dominated Myanmar belong to eight indigenous races, the Bamar, Chin, Kayin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine and Shan, which are divided into 135 distinct ethnic group and Rohingya Muslims are not counted among these ethnic groups and do not have the right to Myanmese citizenship.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a Rohingya insurgent group, on August 25, 2017, attacked police and army posts in Rakhine state, killing 12 officers, according to the Government. Arsa had carried out a similar attack on October 2016. After which the Myanmar Government declared it a terrorist group. Military was sent in ever since then to for “ethnic cleansing operation”. Mynamar government recognises Rohingya Muslims as Bengalis, even though they have been living in the state for several years, even before the Burma Citizenship Law in 1982 was made. Military has torched many villages in Rakhine state, killing the men and children, raping the woman and lock them in a hut, leaving them to burn to death. The fugitives and victims have stated their sufferings and witness of mass murder.
Israel- Palestine conflict, where the Israel is an effort to convert Jerusalem as a Jewish state, taking over Palestinian lands. Jewish people stated that Judaism is not just a religion but a nationality and hence moved to their religious homeland. During the Jewish Holocaust, even more Jews moved to Jerusalem and Palestine. After the collapse of the Ottoman empire during the World War 1, Jews were allowed for immigration into Jerusalem. As more and more Jews moved in, tension between the Arabs and Jews increased. British restricted Jewish immigration resulting to Jewish militants fighting both Arabs and British. Jewish got international support after the Holocaust and UN deiced to dived the British-Palestine Empire, Israel for Jews and Palestine for Arabs. The city of Jerusalem remained and international zone, where Jews, Arabs and Christians had their Holy Sites. The neighbouring Arab who gained their independence declared a war against the new state of Israel. Israel won the war and took over lands well past their boundaries. They took over the Western part of Jerusalem and much of the lands that belonged to Palestine, creating a mass refugee number to about 7 million. Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty which was very controversial leading to the assignation if Egyptian president. But it widely became an end to Arab-Israel conflict. Neighbouring Arab states made peace with Israel. But Israel’s military was still taking over Palestinian lands towards the West Bank and that’s when it got Israel-Palestine Conflict. West Bank was the area of Palestinians hope for future state and Israel takes over it, doubling the pre-war size. Today over 400,000 Israeli Jews live in the west Bank, in defiance to international law.
This religious conflict is just another example of religion being a cause for conflicts and murders among the communities. There is inner morality and written morality. When inner morality is written down to fit into scenarios and form a structure to make a religion, is what causes conflicts. If God is all loving, and the creator of everything in this world then why is that people fail to understand that other humans are a creation of God. Religion has structured its morality to save it’s people. The rest don’t come under this love and kindness of God and religion.