We live in a world where violence is nothing so special. It is foolish to say people belonging to a particular religion/sect are violent; but it is equally dangerous when the perpetrators of violence say that we are inspired by religion; or they say our religion encourages them to do so. As far as I understand, none of the holy books promote violence, but speaks of compassion, peace, love etc.
We have fundamentalists in all religions, who claim that they are the true followers of that way. Some of them try to be partakers of violence. What is the response of the so-called moderate religious?
We have crusades between the Christians and Muslims in early centuries, which the Church supported in all possible ways. We had violence by Christians against many tribal and local populations in different parts of the world in the name of development and civilizing them? It took ages for the Church to ask forgiveness for it and to condemn these types of initiatives. In a recent news, the Canadian prime minister has asked Pope Francis to say sorry for the abuses against indigenous people. The Church took years to accept the problem of clergy abuse and they have started to deal with it, to give justice to the victims. There are various efforts to accept the violence, to ask forgiveness and to restore something back to them. (I wrote about catholic church as I am more familiar with them).
In the modern world, when the violence occurs, what is the response of our religious leaders? Invariably most of them criticize the violence and supports the agencies involved in charity works. But more than that, what is the response?
- Does they show the courage and guts to condemn the perpetrators of violence (especially when they are from their own religion)? Can they even excommunicate them? (They are examples of some doing it, but much more needs to be done) We need more steps in these lines especially from the people in leadership, who are conscience builders of the society.
- Can the authentic leaders take much more pro-active steps to make sure that education provided in the institutions under them promote non-violence and peace, so that young minds are better formed.
A child is always special for a father and a mother. When child commits a sin, what is the response of parents? Will they oppose the wrong- doing or be neutral?? It is time for leaders to take a stand against violence and take pro-active steps to promote peace.