Religious wars haven’t ended yet

I recommend the app BBC news for iPhone/iPad.  It doesn’t cover car crashes, local crime, nor the Crows.  It lets you very quickly see the big news of the world, rather than wasting your precious life with the repetitive soap opera that passes as “the news” on many TV channels and newspapers.

One surprising thing I observe reading it, is how many religious battles are still going on in the world.  Many of the first European settlers to South Australia were escaping religious persecution – “my supernatural belief is better than yours, so you must die” – we’d like to think it is something of the past.  And it has largely disappeared in countries governed by secular law (and declining incidence of religious affiliation).

Yet sadly many days you can read about new attacks:
– Muslims killing Christians
– Muslims killing Jews
– Muslims killing different sects of Muslims
– Muslims killing Hindus

Yes there is a bit of a pattern here, but there are also (though more rarely):
– Christians killing different sects of Christians
– Christians killing Muslims
– Jews killing Muslims
– Hindus killing Muslims
– even Buddhists (!) killing Muslims

No Janeists killing anyone.  No atheist attacks on churches.  Not all beliefs lead to the same behaviours apparently.

If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or your intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.  Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you.  You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray.
Deuteronomy 13:7-12

About ByronSharp

Byron Sharp is Professor of Marketing Science, and director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia
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