Religion, Peace and Justice

a) Describe the teachings of the religion, which you are studying about war and pacifism.                                                                                                       (40%)

mples of the teaching against war given from the bible. Although Christians refuse to fight at war, they can still be part of war in a non-combat way (e.g. a medical aid to the injured of war.), or they might use non-violent methods as a different approach to war, e.g. a sile

Pacifism is the refusal to use violence in any situation. Many Christians are pacifists, as they believe that God doesn’t want them to fight their neighbours and the Bible tells them this.

“Do not kill” the Ten Commandments given to mosses from God in Exodus Chapter 20. “Love your neighbour as yourself”. Mathew 22.37-39 which is one of the two greatest commandments given by God. Mathew 5 teaches people to take punishment and not to be quick to take revenge. “Turn the other cheek.” Jesus tells people to be good. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” these examples are one of many different exa nt protest which Martin-Luther king successfully achieved when attempting to receive the equal rights of black and white men.

Although many Christians believe that war is wrong, some Christians do take part in war as they believe that the bible teaches them teaching that permit war. God gave people the ability to reason. War may be justified. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. (Exodus 21) shows that punishment shall be appropriate to the crime. Many of these Christians use violence simply as a form of self-defence.

Some Christians are such strong believers, that they will sacrifice their life for their beliefs; these Christians are known as Martyrs. Many people risk their lives in the modern day by speaking out in public against the government and preaching to the Gospels of Jesus. The following quote is from Mathew 26:52 and tells Christians of consequences of going to war.

“Put your swords back in its place. All draw the sword will die by the sword”

In the 13th Century, a Christian monk called Thomas Aquinas decided that there should be guidelines for people to follow, so that they can tell whether fighting is the correct time or wrong time to fight. Thomas Aquinas teaches Christians that a war is only ‘Just’ or ‘Fair’ if it meets the following conditions.

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  1. The war is only started and controlled by authority of the state or the ruler.
  2. There must be a just cause; those attacked are attacked because they deserve it.
  3. The war must be fought to promote good or avoid evil. Peace and justice must be restored afterwards.

Later two other conditions were added:

  1. The war must be the last resort; all other possible ways of solving the problem must have been tried out.
  2. There must be ‘proportionality’ in the way the war is fought e.g. innocent civilians should not be killed. You ...

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