Is religion responsible for the world's violence?

As conflicts rage within Nigeria, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, we are reminded of the late Samuel Huntington's observation about the world's "bloody borders."

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In another such oil state, Iran, Muslims make up the majority and members of the Baha’i faith are in the minority – although their faith was founded in Iran.

Iranian Baha’is stand in front of a bombed-out car

“Imagine being unable to attend college or hold a job simply because the government does not approve of your religion,” writes Sue Chehrenegar for the website GroundReport. “That is the obstacle that faces every member of Iran’s Baha’i community. The government has been persecuting the Baha’is for more than 30 years.”

Chehrenegar cites a number of Iranian persecutions of Baha’i, including the hanging of “a group of women in the City of Shiraz. Their crime had involved carrying out an act that a number of American men and women perform each week, while teaching Sunday school classes. However, those women had not been teaching about Jesus or Mohammed. Each of their lessons had sought to offer a

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few details about the life and teachings of Baha’u'llah, the prophet founder of the Baha’i faith.”

Ahmadis comfort each other after the massacre

In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a frequent target of Islamist terror are the Ahmadis, a religious sect which claims to be Islamic, but which is rejected as heretical by Muslim fundamentalists. Qasim Rashid for the Huffington Postdescribes a recent attack on an Ahmadi mosque: “Out of the silent night, two men moved swiftly through the mosque’s front gate. Magazines loaded and safeties off, one stopped at the front door, the other proceeded through. All that separated a fully loaded Kalashnikov in the hands of a madman from 50 innocent worshippers was a straw curtain that hung helplessly in the doorway.”

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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