Religious Teachings on Life Issues

War and Peace: Just War, Holy War & Jihad

·         Women must not be ***** or abused in any way

·         Enemies must be treated with justice

·         Wounded enemy soldiers must be treated in exactly the same way as one’s own soldiers

·         The war must stop as soon as the enemy asks for peace

·         Property must not be damaged

·         Poisoning of wells is forbidden (chemical or biological warfare might be a modern analogy).

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War and Peace: Just War, Holy War & Jihad

Lesser Jihad (struggle):

·         The opponent must have started the fighting

·         It must not be fought to gain territory

·         It must be launched by a religious leader

·         It must be fought to bring about good – something that Allah would approve of

·         It must be a last resort – all other ways of solving the problem must have been tried

·         Innocent people should not be killed; women, children or old people should not be killed or hurt

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Animal Rights (Christianity)

"Animals are part of creation and deserve respect and protection" Assissi Declarations

"God made the world and gave humans dominion over it" Genesis

"God loves even the sparrows" Jesus

"The Earth and everything in it is the Lord's, and we have a duty as stewards to care for it"

"Scientists must abandon laboratories and factories of Death" Pope John Paul II

"Animals are weak compared to us - and Christ said to care for the weak and need" Bible

"Animals do not have souls as humans do" Bible

contradictory to previous teaching "The animals possess a soul and men must feel love and solidarity towards our smaller brethren" Pope John Paul II

"Show compassion, love and kindness" Jesus

“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28


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Animal Rights (Islam)

"Humans are Khalifas - we need to care for the world and everything in it" Qu'ran

"Showing kindness towards animals is an act rewarded by Allah" Qur'an

"If a man unjustly kills an animal, on judgement day he will be acused by that animal and face punishment" Qur'an

"Animals must be treated with utmost kindess and when slaughtered, must be in the most humane way possible" Muhammad

"It is God who provided for you all manner of livestock, that you may ride on some of them and from some you may derive your food." Qu'ran 40:79-80

“When you set your dog (for the chase), if he catches the game, and you reach it while it is still alive, cut its throat quickly (so it won't suffer)." Qur’an

"Nature is inferior to humans and can be used to improve the welfare of humanity" Qur'an 16:5-8

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Animal Rights: Dietary Restrictions


  • No red meat on Fridays because Friday is the day Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins
  • Some choose to eat no meat during the period of Lent
  • No other rules - "God gave humans dominion."


  • No pork - pigs are considered dirty
  • Only meat that has been ritually slaughtered - Halal
  • Humans are superior to humans so can eat the meat

Other religions...

Hinduism: Don't eat cows as the cow is sacred, many Hindus are vegetarian

Buddhism: Tend to be vegetarian as they believe in the cycle of rebirth. "do not harm other sentient beings"

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Prejudice and Discrimination (Christianity)


The bible has some passages of disconcerting teachings on women and homosexualtiy, which contradict their teachings of fairness, love and understanding, and equality.

"You shall not lie with a man, as he were a woman, as that is an abomintation" Leviticus 18:22

"I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man. She must be silent" Timothy 2:12

There are no female priests in the Roman Catholic Church.

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War and Peace (Islam)


"Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors. " Qur'an 2:190

"Love your enemy only midly - for he may be your friend someday" Qur'an

"Fight until there is no more oppression and justice prevails" Muhammad

"Those who die in the name of Allah will be rewarded in paradise" Muhammad

“But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust in Allah; for He is One that hears and knows all things.” Qur’an 8.61

“Do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just." Qur'an

“If anyone killed a person, it would be as if he killed the whole of humanity” Qur'an 5:32



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Prejudice and Discrimination (Islam)


"Mankind - I created you from a single pair of male and female" Allah

"Allah does not look upon your appearance; He looks upon your hearts and deeds" Muhammad

"Of His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colours. " Qur'ran

Ummah - Muslim brotherhood that promotes equality between all Muslim communities


There is an inclination of sexism in Islam.

"The male shall have the equal of two portions of female" Verse 4:176

There are no female imams in Islam.

Women in prayer must be seperated so they do not 'distract' the men.

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Prejudice and Discrimination (Christianity)


"There is no jew, nor gentile, black man or white, slave or free man, male or female. We are all equal in the eyes of God" Jesus

"God created us in his image" Jesus

Love your neighbour as yourself" Jesus

"God is omnipotent" Bible

"God has no favorites" Source unknown      

"The rich and the poor have a common bond, The Lord is the maker of them all. " Proverbs 22:2

The Parable of the Good Samaritan - enemy of the Jews, yet he helped a jewish man despite their differences

"I look to the day where people will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but the content of their character" Martin Luther King, Baptist Church Minister

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Abortion and Early Life (Christianity)

Sanctity of life - Life is sacred as it is a gift from God/Allah


Abortion is a 'necessary evil' - Christian moderates and protestants

"Love your neighbour as yourself" Jesus

"Show compassion, love, empathy and forgiveness" Jesus

"Life begins at conception" Genesis

"Thou shall not kill the fruit of the womb" Humanae vitae, Pope Paul VII

"Thou shall not kill" Ten Commandments

"You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the new born to perish" Roman Catholic Church

"Life must be protected with utmost care from the moment of conception" Vatican II

"Only God has the right to take life - After all, he created it" Bible

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Abortion and Early Life (Islam)

Sanctity of life - Life is sacred as it is a gift from God/Allah


"Do not kill or take a human life which God has declared to be sacred." Qur’an

"Ensoulment happens at 40-120 days" Qur’an

"Allah decides the time of life and Death" Qur’an

"You shall not kill your children for fear of want" Qur’an

"No severer of the womb relationship ties will enter paradise" Muhammad

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War and Peace: Just War, Holy War & Jihad

6 Rules of a Just War:

1.       The war must be for a just cause.

2.       The war must be lawfully declared by a lawful authority.

3.       The intention behind the war must be good.

4.       All other ways of resolving the problem should have been tried first.

5.       There must be a reasonable chance of success.

6.       The means used must be in proportion to the end that the war seeks to achieved

Holy War:

·         the achievement of a religious goal

·         authorised by a religious leader

·         a spiritual reward for those who take part

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War and Peace (Christianity)


"Those who live by the sword, die by the sword" Jesus

"Blessed be the Peacemakers, for they shall inherit the Earth" Jesus

"Love your neighbour as yourself" Jesus

"Treat others as you would like them to treat you" Jesus

"Show compassion, love, empathy and forgiveness" Jesus

"If someone slaps you, turn to him the other cheek" Jesus

"Everyone must commit themselves to peace" Pope John Paul II 

"If a man strikes another with a rock or his fist and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. " Exodus 21:20

"An eye for an eye" Old Testament

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Planet Earth (Christianity)


"God made the world and gave humans dominion over it" Genesis

"Respect for life extends to the rest of creation" Pope John Paul II

"More than ever before, individually and collectively, people are responsible for the future of the planet" Pope John Paul II

"The Earth is the Lord's and everything in it" Psalms

"Love your neighbour as yourself" Jesus (leave the world in a state you would want to live in - for the sake of future generations)

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Planet Earth (Islam)

"The world is green and beautiful - and Allah made you Khalifa" Qur'an

"The world is our place of worship" Muhammad

"Do not waste the nature" Muhammad (used water as his example)

"Even when doomsday comes, if a person has a palm shoot in their hands, they must still plant it" Hadith

Ummah - the brotherhood; looking out for the future generation by looking after the planet

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