Mankind has a long history of creating its own problems and then fighting over them. And dare I say, Religion is one of them. Today, religious differences lead to a multitude of violent acts all over the world. Life would be much better if everyone focused only on being a good human being, regardless of their religious beliefs, caste, sect etc. However, this is far from what happens.
Most people are very passionate about the beliefs of their respective religions; they swear by the “Holy Books” and Gods that their religion teaches them to believe in. The Christians swear by the Bible, the Muslims by the Quran, the Hindus by the Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta and the list goes on. Anything or anyone that goes against their religious beliefs is unacceptable to them.
If you ask Dr. Zakir Naik, a Muslim evangelist, to point out mistakes in the Bible or to point out the contradictions between what is written in the Vedas and what Hindus actually practice, he will end up talking for hours. And make no mistake; he will cite specific references from these books to prove what he says. He does make some interesting points, by the way.
Similarly though, if you ask David Wood, a Christian Apologist, to point out ayats (verses) in the Quran that are controversial or scientifically incorrect, he will do just that and post a video of it on youtube, faster than you can snap your fingers (which I’m sure is considered immoral according to some religious beliefs anyway 😛 ). He makes some good points too, citing specific references. Wood will tell you that Jesus is God, whereas Dr. Naik will ridicule that claim and say that Jesus was just a messenger of God, much like the other prophets before and after him. One thing is for sure – both of their lectures will really make you think, although Wood’s lecture will make you laugh as well (This man’s got one hell of a sense of humor). They will both argue over whether Jesus was born of a virgin birth and whether or not he was crucified. People believe what they want to because there is no certain way of finding out which religious teachings about Jesus Christ are correct. Islam and Christianity have different beliefs about him and his life on Earth. Then again, there are different beliefs about Jesus within Christianity as well.
Evangelists such as Dr. Naik and David Wood can spend a lot of time pointing out inconsistencies and mistakes in each others’ religious books simply because these inconsistencies do exist. Religious books of almost all religions contain vague and controversial verses. I do not think this would’ve been possible if any of these scriptures were indeed the ‘Word of God’. People fail to critically examine what is written in these books and a lot of times, do not even follow what is mentioned in them. Yet, the moment someone says or does something which they consider to be blasphemous to their religious beliefs, they all go up in arms. Sure, this is not how all of us react but a lot of us do. Politicians (they’re the same in every country) take advantage of this reaction and use it to attain their political goals. That is why we see so many instances of people killing one another over religious differences.
Most countries in the Middle East are witnessing mindless acts of violence between the Shias and the Sunnis. These 2 sects of Islam have differing views on who should have succeeded Prophet Muhammad after his death. In the Middle East, people feel more connected to their sect, than they do to their country. The borders between these countries are beginning to blur since religious identity takes precedence over national identity in these areas. The proxy war between the Sunni-majority Saudia Arabia and Shia-majority Iran is being played out all over the world, especially in the Middle East.
The atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by Buddhists, in the name of religion, are despicable. The conflict between Isreali Jews and Palestinian Arabs looks set to go on forever and has already led to the death of millions of people. All of these conflicts do not exist due to religion alone. There are many other geopolitical, economic and resource-related reasons behind them. However, religious differences play a prominent role in all of these conflicts.
Such differences wouldn’t have existed if Mankind had not created the concept of Religion. Regardless of what any preacher says, no evidence on the face of the Earth can prove that God created it. We have created it ourselves, and all the unnecessary problems that come with it. The most unfortunate fact of this situation is that Religion is the one creation of Mankind that cannot be destroyed or made to go away. It is here to stay. It has claimed millions of lives already, and sadly, it will continue to claim many more in the years to come.