Is it true that religion tells us to go to war?

War is a human feud or a group of humans that has existed throughout the history of the world. This means that since ancient times war has always existed and is difficult to avoid. This war occurs due to the interests of a country or even a revenge mission carried out by a country.

So, how about war according to religious views around the world? Is it prohibited or may it be required under certain conditions? Well, let’s examine one by one the views of war according to some of the world’s major religions.

  • Rules of war in Islam (Jihad)

War is an act that is required by Islam as stated in Surah Al-Baqoroh verse 216: “Battle has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.” and Surah Al-Baqarah verse 2018 : “Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah – those expect the mercy of Allah. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.“

 But let’s not misinterpret this verse. Even in war, Islam still pays attention to several important things. Such as protecting children, women, slaves, prisoners of war, from the surrendered enemy.

Islam does not even allow hating a group of people who are an enemy. In addition, in war it is also forbidden to kill people recklessly. Even if a country is doing trouble. So not necessarily all the people are also enemies. Maybe they don’t know anything. Islam even says that killing people who are not involved in war is the same as killing people all over the world.

Islam also allows counterattacks as long as the goal is for good. But if you can still be patient and don’t reply in kind (not excessive) then that is much better. And most importantly, Islam will forbid a war if it is used to harm a group of people for no reason. Moreover, killing many innocent people.

Regarding jihad.

In fact, jihad is an action taken to defend Islam. But even jihad must obey the rules of war that were made. If only killing people who are considered wrong is like bombing all over the world. So it is not considered jihad.

But whatever it is Islam prefers world peace to bloodshed.

Rules of war in Christianity
  • Rules of war in Christianity

There are two different views held by Christians around the world. First they know Pacifism and second they know Just War Theory. Pacifism is a view that says any form of war, even for humanitarian purposes is an act that is prohibited. Christianity teaches compassion and hates violence.

In the Bible itself there are several verses that describe war, including: 

  • Deuteronomy 20:16-17

16. However, in the cities of the nations that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not leave alive anything that breathes. 

17. For you must devote them to complete destruction—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you

  • Numbers 31 : 17-18

17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

  • Joshua 6:2

2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.

  • Joshua 10:28

28 That day Joshua took Makkedah. He put the city and its king to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it. He left no survivors. And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.

Hinduism war rules
  • Hinduism war rules

Hinduism requires all its followers to defend the truth according to the scriptures. They can fight but not fight to spread religion and negate other people’s beliefs. The war here is carried out to defend the truth or dharma that is believed by Hindus.

They will fight a person or group of people called Adharma. They like to destroy places of worship to spread terror everywhere. This war will occur when peace efforts are lost and there is a lot of violence against religion. Then the Knights will proudly fight to protect the truth.

Buddism war rules
  • Buddism war rules

The Buddha gave the view that war is an act that occurs as a result of 3 human vices. These qualities include greed, hatred, and ignorance. These things make humans, especially Buddhists, become evil people. He even had the heart to do war even though it was aimed at defending his religion.

From the four views above, we can conclude that war is actually not justified. But in certain situations war can be carried out even though it must comply with rules such as protecting children and women. But the current war is just the opposite. Many innocent citizens fell victim to the endless atrocities of war.

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