Religion: Peace and Conflict

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Religion: Peace and Conflict World Peace World Peace - ‘the ending of war throughout the whole world (the basic aim of the United Nations).’ World Peace After World…
Religion: Peace and Conflict World Peace World Peace - ‘the ending of war throughout the whole world (the basic aim of the United Nations).’ World Peace After World War II, 50 nations joined together to form an international organisation committed to supporting international law and security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. The United Nations (UN)now has 192 member states. Its’ principle aim is world peace. The United Nations
  • All countries can apply to be members and have a vote in the General Assembly. It is headed by a Secretary General who brings issues threatening world peace to the Security Council.
  • Security Council has 5 permanent members; USA, Russia, China, France and the UK) and 10 non permanent members elected on a 2 year term.
  • Why the UN is important to World Peace
  • The UN tries to stop wars before they start by using economic and political sanctions e.g. trade restrictions or freedom of international travel.
  • Armed forces from member nations sent to enforce peace and end conflicts quickly, if needed.
  • Use of force is always a last resort and seen as a deterrent to get nations to comply.
  • Why the UN is important to World Peace
  • Send a UN peace keeping force to:
  • prevent outbreak of a conflict or stop it spreading to other countries.
  • stabilise areas after a ceasefire.
  • help put peace agreements into practice.
  • Why the UN is important to World Peace UN tries to keep peace by running the International Criminal Court (ICC). Upholds international laws and prosecutes those who commit war crimes. War crimes = ‘violations of the laws or customs of war’. E.g. murder of POWs, use of slave labour, devastation not militarily necessary. An Example of the UN’s work - Kosovo International forces share the cost. All wear a blue helmet. Kosovo became part of Yugoslavia after WW1. 80% of its people are Albanians and 20% Sebians. An Example of the UN’s work - Kosovo
  • Why the UN became involved
  • When Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1980s Kosovo became part of Serbia. The Serbian leader (Slobodan Milosevic) took away Kosovo’s autonomy in 1989.
  • Kosovans tried to peacefully gain independence. When this failed the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) attacked Serb targets.
  • An Example of the UN’s work - Kosovo
  • Why the UN became involved
  • The Serb army began ethnically cleansing Kosovo Albanians. Thousands died and more fled to other countries.
  • Milosevic rejected an international peace deal to end the fighting. NATO bombed Serbia and the UN then took over running the area.
  • An Example of the UN’s work - Kosovo
  • How the UN dealt with the Situation
  • UN peacekeepers kept he Serb army out of Kosovo and KLA out of Serb parts of Kosovo.
  • UN protects Kosovan independence and Serb communities who remained.
  • Helped establish Kosovan political parties and institutions which allowed it to become fully independent in 2008.
  • Key Words Conflict Resolution – bringing a fight or struggle to a peaceful conclusion The United Nations – an international body set up to promote world peace and co-operation Religious Peace Organisations All religions have groups which are working for world peace.
  • These groups work by:
  • lobbying politicians,
  • raising public awareness
  • campaigning for human rights.
  • Their main motivations are forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.
  • Religious Peace Organisations Task: Create a short fact-file on one of the following agencies:
  • Pax Christi -
  • World Council of Churches - (Xian)
  • Muslim Peace Fellowship
  • N.B. Your fact file should include Who they are, examples of what they do and an explanation of their motivation (why they do what they do). How Religious Organisations work for Peace
  • Organise public debates on the horror of war. Encourage followers to vote for parties opposed to war.
  • Organise anti-war protests. Try to change public opinion.
  • Attend inter faith conferences to help all religions work together to promote world peace. Lots of conflixt happen between religions.
  • Work for economic justice and global recognition of human rights to remove the causes of war. Improving people’s standard of living removes lots of causes of war.
  • Why Wars Occur
  • Religion One country might think another country is treating followers of their religion badly and invade e.g. Serbs invade Kosovo because they believe Muslims are treating Christians badly.
  • Why Wars Occur
  • Nationalism and Ethnicity Some believe each ethnic group should have its own country because it has a different culture. Ethnic minority groups fight civil wars to get their own independent state e.g. the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.
  • Why Wars Occur 3. Economics Wars can occur if one country has resources that another country wants. Some people believe that Iraq was invaded because the West wanted to make sure it would have access to its enormous oil reserves. Why Wars Occur 4. Ideological and Political differences The Korean War of 1949 saw North Korea invade South Korea as it wanted to unite the country under communism. A truce was called in 1953 after the UN fought a war against North Korea and China. There is no official peace. Nature and Importance of the theory of Just War Just War – a war that is fought for the right reasons and in a right way. Christians have long associated this argument with St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) but other religions developed these ideas long before.
  • A war is ‘just’ if…
  • the cause of the war is just e.g. fought in self defence, or removing injustice.
  • has the intention of restoring peace.
  • began as a last resort (tried to talk first).
  • a reasonable chance of success (wont waste lives)
  • avoid killing civilians.
  • Different Christian Attitudes to War Pacifism: ‘Refusing to fight in a war due to a belief that the use of force and violence has no justification.’ Many Christians today are pacifists, claiming there can be no justification for violence. They think this because:  Jesus taught his followers to ‘turn the other cheek’. Matthew 5:39  The 5th commandment bans killing. (Thou shall not kill)  Jesus stopped Peter from using violence and said ‘He who lives by the sword will die by the sword.’ (Matt26:52)  Wars affect civilian lives not just the military. Why Christians believe in ‘just wars’ ‘Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.’ (Romans.13:1) St Paul says Christians have to obey the orders of their government. As God has put them in power.
  • Jesus never condemned the Roman soldiers that he met.
  • Police are needed to protect innocent people from criminals, so an army ready to fight in ‘just wars’ is needed to protect weak countries from attack.
  • When asked if people should pay the Romans their taxes Jesus replied, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.’ This means that fighting in a ‘just war’ ordered by governments is the right thing to do. Useful Quotation replied, ‘…governments can not be denied the right to self-defence, once all peace efforts have failed.’ Catechism of the Catholic Church Islamic Views on War replied, Islam teaches that Muslims should be prepared to struggle or strive in the way of Islam. Have no idea of pacifism. The Arabic word used to describe this struggle is ‘jihad’. For Muslims the most important struggle they must undertake is called the greater jihad or the internal jihad. A spiritual and emotional fight to submit fully to the will of Allah. War is OK as long as it is for a good cause replied, Talking has failed and they are being violent ‘Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits, God does not love those who transgress.’ Surah 2:190 Fight fair/once you have won stop fighting Break the rules/do wrong Verse in the Qur’an Islamic Views on War replied, Muslims feel that if a war fits these conditions then they must fight in it. Muslims sometimes see their jihad as a Holy War, particularly if they feel Islam is being attacked. They feel this because:  The Qur’an teaches that Muslims must fight if they are attacked.  Muhammad himself fought in wars.  replied, The statements of Muhammad (Hadith) permit just wars.  The Qur’an teaches that anyone who dies in a just war will go directly to heaven. Some Muslims believe Islam to be a religion of peace and modern warfare means no war can be just, so oppose all wars. Bullying replied, – Key Terms Bullying - ‘intimidating/frightening people weaker than yourself.’ Respect – treating a person or their feelings with consideration. Bullying replied, As well as conflict between different nations, there is conflict between individual people and one of the most common forms is bullying. Examples include:  Causing deliberate physical harm (e.g. hitting).  Calling people names.  Telling lies against a person.  Damaging or taking personal property. Bullying replied, An average of 10 children a year commit suicide as a direct result of bullying. 1 in 12 are bullied to the extent that it seriously damages their education. Bullying also happens to adults, in the workplace people who have more power can intimidate you causing mental stress to victims which sometimes leads to suicide. Why Christians are Against Bullying replied, Attacking others without just cause is sinful.  Humans are the creation of God, bullying is mistreating God’s creation.  It is the duty of religious people to protect the weak and innocent. Bullying goes against peoples human rights and Christians are taught to protect human rights. As such they are against bullying. Why Muslims are Against Bullying replied, Islamic society based on law and respect. Bullying has no respect. Using violence without a just cause is sinful. Bullying is therefore sinful.  It is the duty of Muslims to protect the weak and innocent. Bullying does not fit with this.  Muhammed said ‘Every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim.’ Brothers do not bully each other so Muslims should not bully anybody. Religious Conflicts Within Families replied, Children not wanting to take part in their parent’s religion Religious parents may expect their children to be so. Religions tell parents it is their duty to bring their children up in the faith. Parents may feel like failures if children turn from their religion. Parents may worry their children will not be with them in the after life because they have left their faith. Religious Conflicts Within Families replied,
  • Children want to marry a partner from a different faith.
  • Can’t be a religious ceremony because the couple must be members of the same religion for a religious wedding to take place.
  • What religion shall any children be brought up as? This can cause real problems within families.
  • Religious Conflicts Within Families replied,
  • Children become more religious than their parents
  • Children may start to criticise their parents which can lead to arguments. Parents may be upset if child wants to be a priest as they will be denied the chance to be grand parents (priests are celibate).
  • May criticise Muslim parents who sell alcohol (not allowed) or a Catholic parent who uses contraception (not allowed).
  • Religious Conflicts Within Families replied,
  • Disagreements over moral issues
  • Arguments can be caused if someone makes a decision that goes against the beliefs of the family e.g. if a Catholic decides to get divorced or if they decide to have an abortion (Catholics and Muslims do not allow them).
  • Christianity; Forgiveness & Reconciliation replied, Forgiveness - stopping blaming someone and/or pardoning them for what they have done wrong. Reconciliation– bringing together people who were opposed to each other. Christianity sees forgiveness and reconciliation as the way to end conflicts. They believe this because:  replied, Jesus died on the cross to bring forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God.  Jesus told Peter to forgive not 7 times but 77 times.  The Lord’s prayer states ‘Forgive me my sins, as I forgive the sins of others.’  Jesus’ parables of the Unmerciful Servant (Matt 18:21-35) and the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). Christianity; Forgiveness & Reconciliation replied, Very occasionally Christianity states there are times when reconciliation may not be possible.  St Paul stated that if a Christian’s lifestyle goes against what God wants and they refuse to change their ways, then they should not be allowed membership of the church.  replied, If a friend or family member refuses to accept your faith in God and you are forced to choose between them, you should choose God and your faith. However, a Christian should always be willing to work towards forgiveness and reconciliation when the opportunity arises. Islam; Forgiveness & Reconciliation replied, Islam teaches that Allah is forgiving and merciful to all who stop sinning and turn to him. Muslims believe:  Muslims should be merciful and compassionate towards others, because Allah is merciful and compassionate towards them.  The Qur’an states ‘If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward will be from God.’ Surah 42:40  replied, There are many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Hadith) stating Muslims should forgive others. Quran states that Muslims should forgive people who sin against them. Muslims should obey the Quran. However, a Muslim should not forgive those who are working against Islam.
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