Religion and peace: what are the challenges?
15 Feb 2020

Religion and peace: what are the challenges?

The data in the Encyclopedia of Wars reveal that 6.98% of all the recorded historical conflicts were caused by religions.The ambassador of peace Prem Rawat noticed that conflicts happen in most parts of the world. Differences in religion in many parts of the world have sparked conflicts and contributed to violence or wars.

However, it is good to notice that the religious assets which have been established by religious leaders and churches or temples have contributed greatly to the building of global peace. Thus, he endeavors to spread messages of peace to cultivate harmony among people. What are the challenges of religion to restore peace in the world?

Challenges of Christianity in the promotion of peace

Religious differences cause breaches of peace

The Protestant Reformation began in 1517. Because of the reform, it disrupted the religious authority and affecter the political ruling order in the Catholic countries in Europe. Initially, it led to a minor revolt, which was known as the Knights' Revolt in 1522. Later on,the war evolved; therefore, the German Peasants' War broke out in the Holy Roman Empire and lasted one year. From 1618 to 1648, the greatest religious battle in history broke out.

The war involved the Catholic and Protestant, who had been at rows because of different points of view during the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. Thirty years later, the religious war evolved, and it focused more on which group would rule over Europe. It is also common knowledge that other religions have been involved in massive killings due to incongruent points of view.

These facts highlight that differences in religious points of view can lead to violence, which results in inconsiderable human losses. Still, nowadays, cases of conflicts due to metamorphoses in beliefs are still numerous, and even family members and relatives have become in enmity with each other due to the incongruence in religious affiliation. Some family members refuse to host their relatives and to bury each other when they die because of religious discord.

Differences in the way to attain peace leads to violence

Peace with religion aims at promoting the common principles of peace, which is the fundamental value in most religions, regardless of their denomination. Religion asserts that righteousness and justice leads to peace. In other words, religion guides people to the appropriate moral conducts to lead to a peaceful community.

However, the challenges are that all members of the congregation are not always united in their mind, and some still need to be re-educated to hold fast to the idea of peace. Enticing people to harmony is challenging and it is a hard task to do. The reason is that not all religious members have become spiritual beings even if most religions promote spirituality.

Many are still acting as natural humans who are subjected to the will of the world and are still bound by the trap of iniquities or sinful acts. The bondage of worldly life and worries is so strong that even religious people are not at peace with themselves. That is certainly the reason why Prem Rawat said that it is primordial for humankind to find the peace within before they can bring peace to the world.

Activating natural human qualities inhibits peace

Despite being fervently religious, many people still hold fast to their evil conducts and heinous characters. They are still held in captivity by our natural qualities, which are jealousy, pride, arrogance, bursts of anger and other immoral conducts, which lead to violence and hatred. Greed for material wealth and power, dirty language and malicious behavior are all factors of violence.

In addition, revenge is still a value in some religions, and they believe that unless they terminate the life of those who do not share their vision, there would not be peace in the world.

In short, mankind is still subjected to their natural qualities and behavior. Unless us are fully developed spiritually and emotionally, we will still engage in immoral conducts and use of force. Only when we become spiritual individuals and are ready to focus on spirituality will it be possible to achieve peace through religion. Yet, the challenges are still numerous.