In an ideal world, no one should commit crimes. But people do – all the time. However, you would think that people who believe in God would know that He is peace-loving and abhors evil. Therefore people who claim to be religious would shun crimes and violence, right? Well, some of the most heinous crimes ever committed in the history of humanity were done explicitly in the name of the almighty “peace-loving God.” For many years, religious entities have employed a great deal of violence, subjugation, and hatred as a tool to spread religion across the world. It is even more troubling to realize that these atrocities are deeply-rooted in the doctrines of faith, and the history of human morality itself. For one, spreading religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism have been a matter of doing or die.
The conquest, for instance, entails defeating one religion to enhance the proselytism process of another as it was in the case of Christianity and Islam. In the Bible, God kills hundreds of innocent Egyptian children to teach Pharaoh a lesson. He also ordered his people to commit genocide in other instances. Meanwhile, the foundation of Islam is built on Mohamed who was a prophet and military leader. Thus, it was founded on the belief of a conquering army through jihad, which means the war against the enemies of Islam. Among many others, here are ten cases of violence and crimes committed in the name of God across religions.
1. The Crusades (Christianity)
The crusades were religious warfare between Christians and Muslims in the quest for holy lands. It occurred between 1096 and 1291. The Christians from across Europe engaged in the horrendous massacres based on the belief that the ‘Holy Land’ was given to Christians. The war was propagated by the Popes who formed an army of mercenaries from across Europe, both west and east Europe set aside their conflicts and combined forces. A total of five crusade wars were recorded which resulted in the transfer of Jerusalem to the crusaders.
The brains behind the wars, the Popes instructed the crusade mercenaries that the fight is holy and killing non-Christians is not a sin and when one steps in the sacred land and Holy places they will be purified. It was a kind of motivation which led to the massacre of millions of innocent unarmed men, women, and children Muslims. It is one of the bloodiest wars in history though Christian believers worldwide see the positive side of it the consequences of the war. For instance, the history attributes the increase in the power of the Pope and the growth of Europe and superpower house as the significant effect of the inhumane crusades.
2. The Jihad (Islam)
The Islamic Jihad has been in operation around the world for over 13 centuries. It is described as ‘Holy Wars’, and it is according to the Muslims’ holy book, Quran. Jihadism started during the early stages of spreading the religion as far as India to Morocco in North Africa. Initially, Jihad was holy wars fought among Muslims, then it evolved to using the Jihad to conquer new territories to spread the Islam religion. Also, all “sinners”; that is anyone who is not a Muslim was killed in the name of God. The same concept of jihad has evolved from holy wars to organized terrorist attacks around the world. Terrorist groups deploy the values and morals of jihad in the bombing and killing of millions of innocent people worldwide. For instance, the terror attack of 911 was masterminded by the infamous Osama bin Laden who was a renowned jihadist.
3. The Violent Oppression of Women (Christianity & Islam)
Both Christian and Islamic teachings emphasize women submission to their husband or male counterparts just as they submit to God. The comparison of man to gods and women to slaves underscores the deficits of gender equality. Women are instructed to treat their husbands the way they would treat their lord! This would account for the high rate of domestic violence both in the Christian and Muslim societies because of the belief that women being the “weaker vessel” be subjected and submissive to their men. Women are regularly sexually assaulted, physically abused, subjugated, psychologically tortured, and even murdered whether or not they err in the aspect of total submission to men.
The Quran clearly instructs men to beat women in Quran 4:34, “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the
4. The Muslim Conquests 622 – 1924 (Islam)
The spread of Islam around the world was through the use of warfare and conquest. The conquest involved using thorough violence to acquire territories to spread Islam as a religion. According to Islamic Sharia Law, the use of force is justified even in their homes. The conquest led to the collide of both Christianity and Islam as they both tried to win grounds to proselytize their faith and beliefs. Limited records exist, but ranging from Alexander the Great, collapse of Ottoman empire, to the mass killings in the name of religion, Islam has killed millions of innocent humans in their quest to establish the Islamic Caliphate. The conquest Islam wars of Egypt, Persia, and parts of Africa was termed “Holy Wars” and its involved literary mass killing to gain control so that they can spread their religion.
5. The Inquisition (Christianity)
The inquisition was a set of the Catholic government commissioned to seek out and punish heresy across Europe in the name of God. The Roman Catholic Church engaged in millions of activities which contradict the very foundation and values of Christianity. It is blasphemy to behave and act like God according to the Bible; however, the Inquisition involved being the judge of the human race and sentencing them to torture, torment, and executions. The inquisition in Spain, for instance, was the well-recognized with the brutality and bloodiness it carried. Anyone accused of heresy dies. The arrested suspects are tortured to confess. Those who refuse to confess were burned alive at stake; those who admitted were publicly executed by hanging.
During the Inquisition period, millions of humans were either burned alive at stake or hanged in the name of God. It is disgusting that even Christians accuse the pagans and atheist in the world for being evil. How will you describe the killing and executing people? Those who tried to fight back at inquisitors were met with the same fate. During the early period dating from 19th century backward, Christians were eviler than any person in the world. They were devils.
6. The Thuggee Murders (Islam & Hinduism)
The Thuggees are described as the first mafia group in the history were a group of organized ritualized assassins across India. Its operated in the period between the 13th to 19th century. Their massacres, which they claimed was in the name of Hindu Goddess Kali, were ritualistic. Even in the current era, the Hindus still offer human sacrifices to Kali. The thugs were associated with both Muslims and Hindus. Research traces them back to seven Muslim generations, and the Hindus are associated with them in that they recognize the Hindu Goddess Kali as the god of destruction. Thuggees beliefs that it was their role to help Kali to create balance in the world- balance of good and evil was their primary motivation in committing the crimes. Statistics indicate that Thuggees killed around 20,000 people per year and their ritual mode of the assassination was struggling. They interacted with people to earn their trust and turned on them during the night and killed them. With the British intervention, the Thuggees were exterminated in 1840, and the Thuggee and Dacoity Suppression Acts established in India.
7. Buddhist Burma (Buddhism)
Buddhism Burma was based on the belief of human sacrifice in the 18th century. They offered a human sacrifice in the name of worshiping God. When they moved their capital to Mandalay, around 60 blameless, pure, and spotless human beings were murdered and buried underneath the city as their capital. According to the Buddhists beliefs, the blood of the spotless and blameless men was to sanctify and protect their city. When they found two of the spots they had buried the sacrifice empty, the royal astrologers issued a decree that 500 spotless men, women, boys and girls are butchered and buried immediately or the capital city be abandoned. The Buddhists embarked on a rampage killing and burring of humans as a sacrifice. The ceremony was terminated by the British governors, but at least two hundred had already been buried.
8. The Anabaptist Persecution (Christianity)
The Anabaptists was a religious movement that was based on reforms and was described as re-baptizers. The belief contradicts most of both Roman Catholic and Protestants Christian beliefs. For instance, they believed that baptism is based on one’s faith. The baptism of infants raised the questions among the Catholic and protestant Christians of the 16th century when the Anabaptists emerged. These group of believers and their leaders were perceived as a threat to the word of God by both the Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians. Therefore, they rounded up many Anabaptists in Europe, tortured and persecuted them for heresy. Though Christians justify these persecutions as it was necessary to allow the growth of the word of God and Christianity, it is inhuman, unsanctioned and against the root foundation and values of God.
9. Witch-Hunts & Wiccan Murders (Christianity)
What do you fear most in your life? Well for a long period, Christian circles feared witchcraft more than anything else. It is not surprising even today, pagans and Wiccans remain the biggest enemy of Christianity, probably more than Satan himself. It is so because some Christian movements have devoted the larger part of their effort and resources waging war and persecuting pagans and Wiccans, particularly in America. During the ancient times, witches were respected as teachers and healers, and people in the community saw them as God sent with superpowers to heal and help humans. The coming of Christianity interpreted witches as agents of Satan on earth and the Christian community formed bands of trained hunters to capture and persecute anyone associated with or accused of witchcraft in the society.
Furthermore, Pope Gregory IX authorized the killing of Witches and Wiccans in the 1200s, while Pope Innocent VIII, 1484 declared witches and witchcraft a heresy. Witch hunting increased the deaths because anyone accused of witchcraft was as good as dead through hanging, brutal murder, stoning, torching them alive, among other cruelty. Many people accused of practicing witchcraft, mostly women, were candidates of persecution. Christians have killed millions of humans for being witches or practicing it. The objective is ridding the world of Satan’s agents and promote the word of God; thus, crimes were committed in the name of God.
10. Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus (Islam)
The ethnic cleansing of Kashmir Hindus was as a result of political rivalry in the region. The Muslim leader of Kashmir created the conflict that resulted in the killing of Hindus. The Muslims decided to undermine Hinduism as a religion in the first place by perceiving themselves as righteous people. It occurred during the 1990s. Imagine building a mosque inside the ancient Hindu temple! The primary purpose was to eliminate Hinduism and grow Islam. Therefore, the Kashmir Muslims organized terrorist attacks on Kashmir Hindus to silence their protests concerning demolishing the ancient Hindu Temple.
The politics based on religion increased the violence in the region. the Muslims committed to terrorism and violence were forced over 600,000 Kashmir Hindus to migrate from their homes. The slogan was to “Kill the man and Keep the women to increase and grow Islam.” These people were using the name of their religion and the god they serve to commit the terrorist crimes, raping women, imprisoning Hindu women to procreate so that Islam can grow in the region.