Religious Intolerance Is A World Wide Problem

Many of us who believe in a higher power are shocked by some of the atrocities committed in the name of religion.  The Catholic Church is continuing to feel the effects of its child abuse scandals.  I think that some of these problems are directly attributable to some priests entering the priesthood to avoid the sting of being gay.  There was a Jewish Rabbi recently gunned down in Miami while on a much needed vacation.  Can this death be linked to the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip?  There was a period of unease here in the U.S. after the 9-11 bombings of the World Trade Center.  I am happy about the level of tolerance that we all exhibit during these tense religious conflicts worldwide.

I wrote an article about the conflicts in the Central African Republic between Christians and Muslims.  Although this crisis is not making daily headlines, I would be confident in saying that the acts of reprisal will go on for some time.  The current situation in Iraq involving ISIS and its attempt to establish an Islamic Caliphate makes me happy that I live here in the United States.  We are not perfect but we do not get our heads chopped off for not confessing faith to a particular god.  

The Roman Empire was beholden to a number of gods during its heyday.  Mars was the god of war and was the last deity that many soldiers prayed to before entering the battlefield.  Venus was the goddess of love and helped many a suitor gain the object of their affection.  Neptune was the god of the sea and was a potent ally as explores and merchants navigated treacherous waters with the stars as their guide.  They borrowed many of their gods from Greek society and melded many of them together to form powerful belief systems.  The price to pay for not believing in these deities was death and persecution.

World history has seen a number of wars and movements initiated by a belief in religious hegemony.  The Christian Crusades have been replayed in a number of Hollywood movies.  The Muslim Conquests were accompanied by the spread of science and Islam.  Most notable for me was the Moorish conquest of Spain.  The Thirty Years War fought between 1618 and 1648 started as a conflict between Protestants and Catholics and involved most major European powers at the time.  I will not even attempt to outline the devastation suffered by Native Americans and African countries under the guise of civilizing them with religion.

I learned about the Yasidis during this most recent attempt at religious domination:

The Yazidi (also YezidiÊzidîYazdaniArabicایزدیان‎ AyziyanArmenianԵզդիներ EzdinerRussianЕзиды Ezidy) are aKurdish-speaking ethnoreligious group who practice a syncretic religion that combines Shi'i and Sufi Islam with indigenous regional folk traditions.[13] These traditions include elements shared with the Christian and Mandaean communities of the Near East, as well as with more ancient Gnostic, Marcionite, Zoroastrian and early Mesopotamian religions.[14][15][16] They live primarily in the Nineveh Province of northern Iraq, a region once part of ancient Assyria

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This religious minority is now being persecuted for its desire to maintain its traditional beliefs.  They are an interesting culture and their religion is based on a number of traditions.  They are being assisted by American air strikes because they were forced into the mountains.  It was stated that women and children are being buried alive for whatever reason.  I hope they can find peace as they try to maintain a hold on a culture and religion that dates back much farther than we can imagine here in the United States.  Religious intolerance is nothing new but the pain is real for people experiencing it.

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