Religious conflict: Striving for harmony by upholding human values

Religious conflict: Striving for harmony by upholding human values

Religion is meant to enhance human values. Hence all religions have to accept the equality of human beings, their liberty, their freedom of choice.

Swami Brahmavidananda SaraswatiUpdated: Friday, May 19, 2023, 12:33 AM IST
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Religious conflict: Striving for harmony by upholding human values | Representative Image/PTI

All religions claim to be from God, directly or indirectly. All religions are meant for human beings, not for animals. Then, why is there so much of religious conflict despite people saying that ‘all religions are the same’? We must note that religion is meant for human beings and hence all religious values should not contradict human values. 

Religion is meant to enhance human values. Hence all religions have to accept the equality of human beings, their liberty, their freedom of choice. Really speaking, no religion can say, ‘We are more superior than the followers of another religion.’ Human values can be enhanced but cannot be negated or contradicted. Human values are about equality. So, if a religion is saying followers of our religion are superior to another, then one is going against human values. 

Instead, all religions are valid forms of relating to their understanding of God or Ishvara. That being so, one practises the same value structure towards followers of all religions. One cannot say that, ‘I'll be honest with the followers of my religion, but I can be dishonest with the followers of another religion’. One can honestly propagate one’s religion but one cannot do that with inducements or violence because that will be going against fundamental human values.

Unfortunately, a lot of religious conflicts take place, because they are not enhancing human values, but actually trying to supplant, hijack and negate some of the human values in their behavior due to imagined superiority. This behaviour will invariably lead to a conflict, because if one group feels their rights are trampled upon, there will be a reactionary push back. If the religion that believes is superior, still tries to change the other person, that will definitely lead to conflict and violence. 

A study of religious conflicts shows that this is what is happening in most places in the world — one religion believing in its superiority, tries to convert followers of another religion. If all religions followed human values and enhanced human values, the world would really be a great place to be in.

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