There are billions of people in the world. This corresponds to billions of different personalities, fears and beliefs. This diversity makes coexistence on Earth interesting, extensive and challenging. However, this plurality/diversity is also reason for not having unanimous opinions all over the world.
A good but difficult example of this is religion. It is just as diverse as we humans and not everyone has to belong to it, however, there is room for each individual belief and interpretation. People live a life shaped by their personal beliefs and live them out. It seems to be a wonderful way for every human being to belong to a community and live a life with a common faith. However, this can only be done up to a certain point.
Every religion is different and in Germany everyone has the right to decide for themselves which religion or belief they want to join. But when some people tell other people what they should believe/do, this crosses the line in Germany, where each person decides for himself what is good/important for him.
Unfortunately, this is not only the case in the present, there have been too many conflicts or wars over the long history of mankind, caused by the urge of certain believers to impose their religion on other people. An example of this are the Crusades in the Middle Ages. They were Christian wars directed not only against Muslims, but also against The Baltics, Mongolians, etc. The people involved were called Crusaders because the fighters (also called crusaders) had crosses on their armor. Reasons for these wars were mostly reconquest of property, as well as defense of own rights when they were in danger. The ‘classic’ Crusades took place from 1096-1270. These Crusades were one of the first wars in which it was not only
About the land, or only about the faith, it was about both. An example for that was the First Crusade against the leader of the Muslims. The crusaders had conquered Jerusalem, the holy land of Christians, because in 1095, the Pope called on Christians to recapture Jerusalem, imposing their faith on other believers. Approximately 5 mio. People are said to have died in these crusades.
This was terrible, but no one did anything against it, because in the Middle Ages, until the early modern times, the Pope had the highest authority and everyone who challenged him was killed. In addition, very few people could speak Latin, so they were unable to read the Bible, which says that no kind of violence is legitimate.
But it was not only in the Middle Ages that many people died in the name of religion. There were many other incidents, such as Bartholomew’s Night. A massacre in 1572 where the Catholics hunted for Huguenots because they could not accept the ‘other’ Christian faith. Three to five thousand people are said to have died in this massacre that lasted one night.
Another devastating event was 9/11. This should be known by everyone nowadays, because only 18 years ago 2 planes captured by muslims were crashed in the twin towers in New York. The religious background of the incident was the opinion of the Muslims. They said that those who are not members of their religion are ‘infidels’. So they caused the deaths of up to three thousand people mainly who they considered infidels.
Even today, heaps of horrific attacks are still taking place targeting a group of people who disbelieve and therefore have to be killed. Many of the perpertrators are uneducated and therefore cannot independently reflect on what is right or what is wrong, or read it in their scriptures. In this way, they carry out what they are told.
In some countries it is still the same, as it was in the Middle Ages. There is a high authority that dictates a religion or faith and that all those who oppose it are killed.
I believe, even though we are still a long way from the fact, that every human being should have the right to decide for himself. It is self-determining whether one wants to join at all and, if so, which of the different faiths one wants to join. And it is allowed to live it out, but only to the limit, where it restricts other people in their faith. One can get upset about the wars that have had to take place so far, but it is better to think about what could be changed so that fewer people die because of religious wars in future.