Religions can positively shape societies and make a valuable contribution to the coexistence of people. It is therefore natural to conclude that the acts of violence committed by extremists have nothing to do with actual religion. However, this falls short: every religion has to deal with it when violence is carried out on its behalf. That applied to the Catholic Church, and that also applies to the Islamic communities.
Religions have the capacity to influence people. They shape people and their basic attitudes and convey values. It is not uncommon for religious convictions in particular to lead people to stand up for others in their need. In short: religions can positively shape societies and make a valuable contribution to the coexistence of people. It is therefore natural to conclude that the acts of violence committed by extremists have nothing to do with actual religion. However, this falls short: every religion has to deal with it when violence is carried out on its behalf.
Religious Rules Can Have Fatal Effects
Not only the currently problematic Islam, but also Christianity knows innumerable examples of violence, injustice and suffering in the name of the cross when people acted in the belief that they had to spread or defend the truth of a religious message by all means. What at first glance might be dismissed as medieval thinking reveals a special dynamic. Religious truths and rules that regulate human coexistence can develop fatal effects especially if they are understood and passed on in the sense of directly revealed laws. They are then not valid because their content is understandable, but exclusively because of divine authority. Religious laws understood in this way do not tolerate contradictions.
No Divine Instruction Can Justify Violence
Religions are subject to learning processes when there is space for reflection and discussion. This also includes dealing with violence that occurs in the name of a religious truth. It is obvious that this is not an easy undertaking. Nevertheless, it is necessary for the sake of the injustice that was and is being done to people under the religious guise .Even if it is done in the name of a greater reality, misery, deprivation, and inequality continue to exist as if they were pests. The fact that no divine instruction can justify violence is a realization that we in Christianity do not owe primarily to our own internal religious theological debate, but to the criticism of the Enlightenment. Even if today one has to be grateful for this reflection step from a religious point of view. The necessary impetus for this came from outside!
Each religions Proclaims The Truth.
A challenge for religions in plural societies is that other religious communities equally claim to preach the truth. Such cooperation requires tolerance. This shows the necessity of religious freedom as a right to live one’s own faith and not to be forced into a certain belief. Within Catholicism, this right only prevailed in the Second Vatican Council. If the Church previously asked states to protect the truth in the form of the Catholic faith and to tolerate other religions as much as possible for the sake of social peace, they now went other ways: It is not the truth that is to be protected, but the right of the human being based on human dignity Individuals to seek the truth.