Can Religious Communities Help Solve World Problems?
People follow different paths to find meaning for their lives. For many, religion is a way of embracing spirituality. In a world plagued by loneliness, anxiety and conflict, religion can help people find peace of mind and inner calm.
Since the beginning of time, humankind has resorted to a metaphysical power in which they can find refuge and look for answers to their questions. Worshipping a deity is seen as a way of expressing their desire for truth and peace when the world appears incapable of responding to their needs.
Yet, at the same time, modern world history has been marred by wars and conflicts, some of which religious violence has played a role in. In 1975, only 2% of conflicts in the world were linked to religion, according to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. By 2013, that number rose to over 50%. In his book, “The Great Big Book of Horrible Things,” historian Matthew White named religion as the cause of 13 of the world’s 100 deadliest conflicts. A case in point is Syria and Iraq, where the Islamic State group has used religion to justify its brutality and bloodshed.