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Religious Wars

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The Bible

Some skeptics of the Bible might reject the tons of people killed in the Bible as a result of religious war and God commands. However the christians who believe the Bible is inerrant must accept the deaths listed here even though they'll try to lower the millions of deaths from the crusades[1] to only thousands such as Dinesh D'souza[2]. Dinesh also insists that some religious wars weren't religious at all but rather that they were wars fought over land, glory, and were secular[3]. However 2 Chronicles 13 for example says Judah beat Israel and inflicted 500,000 casualties. Much more than the credit Dinesh D'souza gives to some religious wars for murders and it' clearly a religious war. It should be noted however that this argument will shift into "Blaming the victim" or "Just following orders" or "It could have been worse" which we'll investigate at Biblical atrocities

21st Century

  • George W. Bush cited divine inspiration as a rationale for the Iraq war: "God inspired me to hit al Qaeda, and so I hit it. And I had the inspiration to hit Saddam, and so I hit him." According to different sources, Bush was said to have indicated that God inspired him to "end the tyranny in Iraq".[4]
  • Nagaland Rebels: (1948–present) -- Active in predominantly Christian state in India. Involved in several bombings in 2004.
  • Second Sudanese Civil War
  • Nigeria -- Religious conflicts between Christians and Muslims[5]
  • The Troubles

20th Century

  • Armenian genocide (Muslims vs. Christians) (1914-1918) -- Approximately 600,000 Amenians were killed in an attempt by the Turkish empire (Muslims) to ethnically-cleanse the Christian Armenian population during WWI.

The Second Sino-Japanese War(1937-1945) -- part of the Second World War during which Shintoism reached its peak and established an imperial cult around emperor Hirohito. Several religious propagandas were used to inflame the war and resulted in the deaths of over 10 million people

The Holocaust -- Genocide of Jews that was caused partly because of the Christian anti-semitism of old about the jews being Christ-Killers

Arab-Israeli Wars

Indo-Pakistani Partition

  • Palestine (Jews vs. Muslims)
  • the Balkans (Orthodox Serbians vs. Catholic Croatians; Orthodox Serbians vs. Bosnian and Albanian Muslims)
  • Northern Ireland (Protestants vs. Catholics)
  • Kashmir (Muslims vs. Hindus)
  • Sudan (Muslims vs. Christians and animists)

Iraq, Shia rebellion in south (1991-92)

  • Ethiopia and Eritrea (Muslims vs. Christians)
  • Ivory Coast (Muslims vs. Christians)
  • Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists vs. Tamil Hindus)
  • Philippines (Muslims vs. Christians)
  • Caucasus (Orthodox Russians vs. Chechen Muslims; Muslim Azerbaijanis vs. Catholic and Orthodox Armenians)

American conflicts

  • Jonesboro church wars - Two factions of evangelicals in Arkansas conflict and turn the town into a war zone, attacking local government and forcing the National Guard to come in to restore order.

19th Century

Boxer rebellion -- A chinese rebellion againt foreign influence in areas such as trade, politics, religion and technology that occurred in China

White Lotus Rebellion -- A rebellion from 1796 to 1805 which was initially a tax protest led by the White Lotus Society, a secret religious society that forecast the advent of the Buddha, advocated restoration of the native Chinese Ming dynasty, and promised personal salvation to its followers. Leading in the end for the deaths of 100,000 rebels

India, Sikh uprising

1st Sikh War (1845-46)

Babi Massacre

18th Century

Taiping rebellion -- Among the most bloodiest religious war which later helped Mao get into power. Its death toll varies between 20-30 million

South Africa, Xhosa self-destruction -- Following a prophecy, Xhosa sacrificed almost all of their cattle and grain. 40,000 starved

17th Century

Salem Witch Trials -- Many women and men are put on trial in Salem, Massachussets for possible paganism.

English Civil War

Shimabara Rebellion(1638)

16th Century

French Wars of Religion -- In 16th Century France there was a succession of wars between Roman Catholics and Protestants (Hugenots primarily). The death toll due to the French Wars of Religion had been estimated at around 2-4 million Persecution of the Waldensians(1540-70) -- Halley's Bible Handbook, 24th ed. (1965): 900,000 Protestants killed as a result Thirty years war -- series of wars that lasted for 30 years between 1618CE to 1648CE in which many European countries fought each other

Dutch Revolt -- the revolt of the Seventeen Provinces in the Low Countries against the Spanish (Habsburg) Empire.

15th Century

Peasants war -- an expression of the religious upheaval known as the Reformation, during which critics of the Roman Catholic Church challenged the prevailing religious and political order

14th Century

13th Century

Jews are killed as scapegoats for the Black Death

Crusades -- religious war sanctioned by the Papacy that took place during 1095-1291 in order to to recapture Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims by Christian militants the end result being the death of over a million people[6]

And I thought I was the seinbsle one. Thanks for setting me straight.

10th Century

4th century

Christian Martyrs by Romans -- Christians persecuted during the period of 30-313 CE

3th Century

Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion -- a religious rebellion at the end of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) instigated by Taoist leader Zhang Daoling's grandson Zhang Lu. The name of the rebellion refers to the five pecks that were paid to the Taoist church for either cures (Zhang Daoling was a faith healer) or church dues.

Yellow Turban Rebellion

2th century

Roman-Jewish Wars (68-132) -- Two million people died on behalf of the Jewish Holy Land [7]

3rd century BCE

India, Ashoka's Conquest of Kalinga (261 BCE) -- According to an Ashokan edict, "100,000 were slain and many times that number died". He was horrified by the slaughter, repented and converted to Buddhism. (Historic India, Time-Life, 1968)[8]


  1. . http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/crusades.html
  2. . http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,337,Atheism-not-religion-is-the-real-force-behind-the-mass-murders-of-history,The-Christian-Science-Monitor
  3. . http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,337,Atheism-not-religion-is-the-real-force-behind-the-mass-murders-of-history,The-Christian-Science-Monitor
  4. . http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rationale_for_the_Iraq_War&oldid=396218866#Divine_inspiration
  5. . http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat5.htm#Ni93
  6. . http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#Crusades
  7. . http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/romestat.htm#JWar
  8. . http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#Ashoka


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