Religion, War & Peace

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Peace, Justice & Sanctity of Life

Peace: An absence of conflict which leads to happiness and harmony

Justice: Bringing about what is right, according to the law

Sanctity of life: Life is precious and shouldnt be destroyed

In relation to War & Peace:

  • If there is war, there will never be peace
  • Without justice, there cannot be peace
  • During war, many lives are lost, opposing the theory of life shouldnt be destroyed
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Causes of War // Conflict & examples

Causes of War:

  • Desire for resources and land
  • Power and politics
  • Religion and cultural differences
  • Necessity- poverty and injustice


Conflict: When countries disagree and cannot settle their differences, they often turn to war and violence


  • Genocide- deliberate extermination of a race, culture or religion
  • Oil (Resources) are the main reason for conflict
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Just and Holy War

Just War Causes (Followed by Christians, Reasons to go to war):

  • Invasion, Assasination of a prominent figure
  • Attack on national honour, Attack on state religion
  • Economic attack, Attack on neighbour or ally
  • Pre-emptive (Hitting before they do) strike, Human rights violation
  • Assisting an invaded friendly nation

Holy War (followed by Muslims):

  • Religion must be the driving force
  • Fighting to defend a religious cause or God
  • Controlled by a religious leader
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Religious Believers & Pacifism

Pacifists believe that:

  • Violence against other people (or animals) is wrong in any situation.
  • Everyone deserved the chance to live
  • War damage life and the environment
  • Negotiation is often the end to many conflicts
  • War causes more suffering in proportion to the evil being fought

Someone may become pacifist for:

  • Religion
  • Belief that war is wasteful and ineffictive
  • Belief in the sanctity of life
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Victims of War // Peace worker

Refugees: People who flee their homes seeking safety elsewhere

The Red Cross: A voluntary relief organisation that help protect medical staff on the battlefield. They support refugees through emergency funds, helpful advice and orientation support.

Help for Heroes: Their mission is to support the wounded and their families from war. There are many recovery centres where the wounded can recover, build up strength or plan for the future


Martin Luther King Jr: 

  • Protested & campaigned peacefully for black peoples' rights
  • Bus boycott & 'I have a dream' speech
  • Awarded Nobel Peace Prize
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Peacekeeping Forces


  • North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
  • 28 members countries
  • Aim is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means
  • Has helped in Kosovo War & Afganistan


  • United Nations
  • Aims to prevent war by discussing problems between countries instead of fighting
  • 192 member states
  • Has helped in Syria and South Sudan
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Terrorism & Weapons of Mass Destruction


  • The use of violence or threats to intimidate people into doing (or not doing) something


Weapons Of Mass Destruction:

  • Weapons that cause death and destruction on a large scale
  • Biological Weapons- spread a harmful disease or bacteria
  • Chemical Weapons- contain toxins that cause illness or death
  • Radioactive material- kills white blood cells
  • Nuclear Weapons- Thousand killed from explosion and radioactivity even today
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Nuclear Weapons


  • Deterrent against war
  • Difficult to get rid of
  • Country would be vulnerable without weapons
  • Jobs working in nuclear sections would be lost
  • Exodus 'an eye for an eye'


  • Destruction over many years
  • Spend lost on weapons- could be spent elsewhere
  • Just/ Holy war doesnt agree
  • Terrorists could find and use them for the wrong reasons
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Religious Teachings

Jesus at the temple- Matthew 21:

In extreme circumstances, it s ok to use violence (go to war)

Beatitudes- Matthew 5:

Christians should be merciful and forgive when possible. It is not merciful to go to war

Jesus arrested- Matthew 26:

They should not go to war because if they 'use the sword', they will 'die by the sword' (in war)

Submission to Governing authorities- Romans 13:

God chose the authorities, if you rebel against them, you are rebelling against God. People should only fight if a leader tell them because God gave the leaders authority

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