General Article World religions: war and peace

Topic Selected: War and Conflict
This article is 9 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

Many wars have been fought with religion as their stated cause, and with peace as their hoped-for end.

What follows is a very brief summary of what the world’s major religions say about war – and peace. Of course, religious beliefs are often complicated; individuals and groups within each religion have different views and religious affiliation is often closely associated with partisan emotions.

A summary can only give a very limited picture. But it can open a door to understanding the links between religion and war.


War: wrong, just or holy?

Put simply, there are three possible views of war that a religion might adopt.

The pacifist view: all violence and killing is wrong.

Belief in a ‘Just War’: some wars, at least, are right because they are perceived to be in the interests of justice – and should therefore be fought according to just rules.

Belief in ‘Holy War’: the God of a religion is perceived to ask, or command, its followers to make war on those who do not believe i...

Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?

Sign up now for a no obligation FREE TRIAL and view the entire collection