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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."

One of the car bombs explodes

Boko Haram has been responsible for more than 620 Nigerian deaths this year alone, according to the Associated Press, targeting churches, state offices, law enforcement sites and even moderate Muslim mosques in its effort to destabilize Nigeria’s government. The professed goal is to see Shari’ah (Islamic law) imposed on the entire country, which is 49 percent Muslim – mostly in the north – and 51 percent Christian, primarily in the oil-rich south. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and its largest petroleum producer.

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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.”

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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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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

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