Edexcel R.E Peace and Conflict

Edexcel R.E. Religion and Society 

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The UN

started at the end of WW2 to preserve world peace and bring about  conflict resolution by encouraging social, educational, economic and cultural progres throughout the world

the security council can stop threats by 

  • imposing sanctions on countries
  • authoritising force by a member state
  • sending a peace keeping force to

Prevent conflict breaking out

to stabalise conflict

bring about a stable govenment 

create peace agreements 

the international criminal court at the hague upholds international laws and procecutes war criminals 

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UN's work in Kosovo

80% ethnic Abanians, 20% ethnic serbs 

  • when yugoslavia broke up kosovo became part of serbia
  • kosovors objected peacefully but failed 
  • serbia sent in the army for ethnic cleansing of Albanians 
  • hundreds of thousands refugees fled and thousands of people died

NATO drove serbian forces out and took over

the UN peacekeeping force kept the serbian army out and protected serb in kosovo

the UN worked to set up political parties and kosovo was declared an independant democratic state reccognised by most countries 

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Religious organisations for world peace

e.g. pax christi, the muslim peace fellowship

  • they organise meetings to teach the horrors of war and encourage people to vote for peace keeping parties 
  • they organise protests to change  public opinion and government policy 
  • they organise and attend interfaith to help all religions work together to promote world peace
  • they work for economic justice, standard of living for the poor and respect for human rights to eliminate the causes of many wars 
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Can we end war

  • if religions came together in a search for peace and unity religious wars would end
  • if we had a world federation of states wars caused by nationalism and political differences would disapear 
  • if we shared the earths resources fairly economic wars would end 
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Causes of war - religion and politcal differences


  • if followers are being badly treated other followers will invade to protect

e.g. sebia invaded kosovo to protect the chrisitan serbs from the muslim albanians 

  • if most of a country is one religion but a minority is another 

e.g. muslims of kashmir leaving india to join muslim pakistan 

  • attacks within the same religion for having different view 

e.g. talibans view on islam against others in afghanistan 

Political differences 

e.g. korean war where communist north korea invaded capitalist south korea

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Causes of war - nationalism and ethnicity and econ

Nationalism and ethnicity 

  • belief each ethnicity should have its own country  

e.g. albanians in kosovo 

  • belief minority groups should be removed 

e.g. ethnic cleansing in kosovo 

  • when countries are split or created artificially 

e.g when european conquerors created sudan and kenya leading to the Darfur war

Economic - resources 

e.g. iraq believed to be invaded by the west for its oil reserves

e.g. crisis in zimbabwe creating refugees in south africa who are attacked to protect south africas resources and jobs 

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Just war

  • must have a just cause (if its fought in self defense if another country was attacking)
  • must be started by the right authority e.g. the UN
  • must have the intention of bringing peace
  • must be the last resort (all other conflict resolution has failed)
  • must have a resonable chance of sucess
  • must avoid killing civilians 
  • methods used must be proportional to the cause (you wouldn't use weapons of mass destruction to destroy a country for invading a small island)
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Christian attitudes to war - pacifism

  • Jesus said love your enemies

turn the other cheek, love your neighbour 

  • 5th commandment says thou shall not kill
  • Jesus wouldn't let peter fight when he was arrested

blessed are the peace makers

  • christianity is a religion of love and modern warfare affects innocent civilians which isn't loving

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Christian attitudes to war - can fight in just war

  • many churches say christians can fight in just wars e.g. catholics and methodists 
  • st paul said you had to obey the orders of the government

authorities that exist have been established by God

  • Jesus praised the faith of a roman centurion 
  • we need armed forces to protect innocent states form criminal ones

there is a time for peace and there is a time for war

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Muslim attitudes to war

jihad - holy war

greater jihad - struggle to be a perfect muslim

lesser jihad- just war

  • the qur'an says muslims must fight if attacked 
  • muhammad (pbuh) fought in wars 
  • many haddith from muhammad (pbuh) say muslims should fight in just war 
  • the qur'an says a muslim that dies in just war will go to heaven

fight in the cause of God 

some muslims don't think any war can be just and so oppose all war 

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Christian attitudes to bullying


  • using agression or violence without a just cause is sinful 
  • we are gods creation, made in god image and bullying is mistreating god creation which is wrong 
  • it is the christian duty to protect the weak and innocent e.g the parable of the good samaritan but bullies do the opposite so they must be wrong 
  • Jesus taught you should treat anyone in trouble like they were Jesus (parable of the sheep and goats) no christian would bully jesus so no christian should bully 
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Why christians shouldn't stand up to bullies

  • it is more important to help the victim of the bullying and love you neighbour 
  • they could make the bullies worse of be bullied themselves
  • it is always better to use law forces to stand up to criminals and bullies are criminals 
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Islamic attitudes to bullying


  • the islamic community is based on respect between members, bullies have no respect for their victims and so do not understand islamic society
  • any muslim who bullies another muslim is acting against ummah ( the community)
  • muhammad (pbuh) 'every muslim is a brother to every muslim' you shouldn't bully your brother or anyone
  • all law schools say muslims should defend human rights and bullying deneys victims human rights 

help the poor man lying in the dust 

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Religion causing conflict within families

  • when children don't want to take part in their parents religion 

religions tell parents to bring up their children in a certain faith 

parents worry without religion their children will become immoral 

parents worry they won't see their children in the afterlife

  • interfaith marriage

often their isn't a religious ceromony is they can't choose which

which will religion will the children be?

parents may feel their choices rejected/ betrayed

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Religous conflicts within families

  • children becoming more religious than their parents

if child becomes a low paid priest and cant marry

child critisised parents choice in drinking/ using contraception

children force their parents to be more religious 

  • disagreements over moral issues 

catholic parents disagreeing over divorce

cohabitation before marriage

having an abortion 

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Ways religion solves conflict

  • brings families together in worship and celebration
  • children brought up in one religion are likely to belive it and so are unlikely to change their mind and would be against conflict
  • most religous parents respect their childrens right to freedon of religon and so it doesn't cause conflict 
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Christian attitudes for forgiveness and reconcilia

  • Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins and taught to forgive 

don't forgive 7 times forgive 77 times

  • if christians don't forgive they will not be forgiven on judgement day

'forgive us our trespasses and we forgive thoose who trespass against us'

  • st paul said christians should try to live in peace with everyone 
  • all churches teach you should use forgiveness and reconcilation to resolve conflicts 
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Islamic attitudes for forgiveness and reconciliati

  • Allah is compassionate and merciful to sinners so muslims should be forgiving 

God is oft forgiving 

  • muslims must forgive to ask Allah for his forgiveness on the last day

if a person forgives his reward is from God 

  • the qur'an said muslims should forgive thoose who offend them 
  • muhammad had many haddith saying muslims should be forgiving 
  • muslims SHOULD NOT forgive thoose who work against islam 

fight in the cause of God 

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farhana Begum


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