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Religious Issues


Religious Issues Secularism and Theocracy Secularism Movement away from control of life by a religion Secularists are often associated with being indifferent to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 28 January 2020
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Title: Religious Issues

Religious Issues
Secularism and Theocracy
  • Secularism
  • Movement away from control of life by a religion
  • Secularists are often associated with being
    indifferent to religion or rejecting it all
  • Many Western democracies have secular principles,
    formally declaring the separation of government
    and religion
  • Theocracy
  • Government run by a religion
  • Existed in the former government of Afghanistan
  • Run by the Taliban
  • Group of fundamentalist Muslim who controlled all
    aspects of life for the Afghani people
  • Today Iran

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Interfaith vs. Intrafaith boundaries
  • Interfaith boundaries
  • Divide space between two or more religions
  • Intrafaith boundaries
  • Divide space within one religion, often among

Interfaith Conflict
Place Interfaith boundary Conflict
China (Tibet) Tibetan Buddhism and Atheism The atheist Chinese government is destroying Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Trying to suppress the religion and assimilate the people
Nigeria Islam and Christianity Islam prevails in the northern region while Christianity and local religions prevail in South. Lead to power-based tensions for government control.
India Hinduism and Sikhism Sikhs in the NW state of Punjab demand autonomy from the Hindu-controlled government of India
India and Pakistan Hinduism and Islam Pakistan was established as a Muslim state in 1948. Pakistan and India are fighting over territory called Jammu and Kasmir
Former Yugoslavia Christianity and Islam In the Yugoslavian civil wars of the 1990s, Serb leader Slobadan Milosevic tried to kill or evict the Muslim population in Bosnia and other Serbian controlled lands in the region
Palestine (Modern-day Israel) Judaism and Islam Christians too For centuries, Jews and Muslims have fought for control of Palestine. This fight intensified after the creation of Israel following World War II.
Intrafaith Conflict
Place Intrafaith Boundary Conflict
Iraq Islam Sunni Islam Shiite Islam After the fall of the largely Sunni government controlled by Saddam Hussein, both Sunnis and Shiites are warring for control of the newly forming political landscape
United States Christian -fundamentalism -moderate Christianity Christians have conflicted in U.S. (and worldwide) over political-cultural issues such as homosexuality, evolution, and abortion. In some cases, violent tactics have been used.
Northern Ireland Christian -Protestant -Catholic British Colonialism deposited large numbers of Protestants in traditionally Catholic Northern Ireland. Has caused violent conflicts between the two groups in the regions.
Religion vs. Government Conflict
  • Religious groups may oppose government policies
    seen as promoting social change conflicting with
    traditional religious values
  • Islam has particularly been affected by a
    perceived conflict between religious values and
    modernization of the economy
  • Hinduism has also been forced to react to new
    non-religious ideas from the west
  • Buddhism, Christianity and Islam have all been
    challenged by Communist governments that diminish
    the importance of religion in society

Religion vs. Social Change
  • Taliban vs. Western Values
  • Taliban rose to power in Afghanistan in 1996
  • Taliban means religious students
  • Once in control of government, the Taliban
    imposed strict laws inspired by Islamic values
    as the Taliban interpreted them
  • Banned
  • western leisure activities
  • TV and Internet
  • Homosexuals buried alive, prostitutes hung in
    public, stoning for adultery
  • Taliban believed they had been called by Allah to
    purge Afghanistan of sin and violence
  • Hinduism vs. Social Equality
  • Hinduism has been strongly challenged since the
  • English Colonization
  • Issue is caste system
  • Until recently castes and subcastes were part of
    rigid system
  • Lack of interaction
  • Problems
  • Neglect of untouchables
  • Economic system
  • Caste system has been considerably relaxed in
    recent years
  • Legally abolished untouchable caste
  • Consciousness persists

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Religion vs. Communism
  • Soviet Union
  • Orthodox Church
  • Russian orthodox church of Russia since 1721 C.E.
  • Marxism the official doctrine with Bolshevik
    revolution in 1917
  • Religion an opium of the people Karl Marx
  • Eliminated the official church 1918
  • Buildings nationalized
  • Beliefs persisted, although knowledge decreased
  • End of communism revival of religion
  • Islam
  • Main religion in Central Asian countries
  • Also dominated by U.S.S.R.
  • Difficulties applying Islam to government
  • Buddhism vs. SE Asian countries
  • Buddhist hurt by the Vietnam War
  • Both sides destroyed and vandalized shrines
  • Many Buddhists immolated themselves to protest
    the policies of the South Vietnamese government
  • Current communist governments have discouraged
    religious activities and permitted monuments to
  • Angkor Wat Cambodia

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Religion vs. Religion
  • Rise of fundamentalism has led to more intense
    religious conflict
  • Def literal interpretation and strict and
    intense adherence to basic principles of religion
    (or branch, denomination, or sect)
  • In a world increasingly dominated by a global
    culture and economy, religious fundamentalism is
    one of the most important ways a group can
    maintain a distinctive cultural identity
  • A group convinced that its religious view is THE
    correct view may spatially intrude upon the
    territory controlled by other religious groups
  • Sharia law- the main reason some Muslims oppose
    any government law is that it is not straight
    from the Quran.

Religion vs. Religion
  • Northern Ireland
  • Most troublesome religious boundary (intrafaith)
    in Western Europe is in Ireland
  • Republic of Ireland is 87 Roman Catholic
  • Became independent in 1937
  • North Ireland is part of United Kingdom and is
    46 Protestant and 40 Roman Catholic
  • Voted to stay in the United Kingdom
  • Protestantism a BIG reason
  • Conflict
  • Catholics have been victimized by discriminatory
    practices, such as exclusion from better jobs and
    better schools/
  • Demonstrations began in 1968
  • Since then 3000 have been killed on both sides
  • A small of Roman Catholics joined the IRA
    (Irish Republican Army)
  • Militant organization dedicated to achieving
    Irish national unity by any means
  • A small group of protestants joined the UDF
    (Ulster Defense Force)
  • Most are willingly to live peacefully, extremists
    are the issue

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Religious Wars in Middle East
  • Conflict in the Middle East is among the worlds
    longest standing and most intractable
  • Jews, Christians, and Muslims have fought for
    2,000 years to control Jerusalem and the region
    around it.
  • Claims
  • Jews
  • promised land
  • Major events of development
  • Forced to leave, Diaspora
  • Christians
  • Consider it Holy land
  • Major events of Jesus' life, death and
  • Most inhabitants accepted Christianity during
    Roman Occupation
  • Muslims
  • Widely practiced in region after 7th century
  • Jerusalem is 3rd holiest city
  • Where Muhammad ascended into heaven

  • 7th century C.E. Muslims captured most of Middle
  • Arab army moved west into North Africa and
    eventually invaded Europe at Gibraltar in 711
  • Conquered Iberian peninsula
  • Stopped in France by Charles Martel and Battle of
    Tours 732 C.E.
  • To the east, Ottoman Turks captured Eastern
    Orthodox territory and Constantinople in 1453
  • Advanced into Southeast Europe
  • Into present day Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • European Christians launched Crusades as an
    effort to recapture the Holy Land from Muslims
  • 150 year period
  • First crusade 1099- captured land
  • Second crusade 1187- lost land
  • Sixth crusade 1229- peace treaty
  • Seventh crusade 1244- lost land

  • Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine for four
  • 1516- 1917
  • After WWI, Ottoman Empire dismantled and Britain
    took over Palestine
  • 1947
  • After WWII, the United Nations voted to partition
    Palestine into two independent states
  • One Jewish, one Muslim
  • British withdrew in 1948
  • Next day, Arab neighbors declared war on Israel
  • Armistice signed 1949 that divided control of
  • Old city part of Jordan (Muslim)
  • Newer part of city part of Israel
  • Not allowed to visit Shrines

  • 1956, 1967, 1973
  • Three more wars with Arab neighbors
  • Most significant 1967 six day war
  • Israel captured territory
  • West Bank (from Jordan)
  • Jerusalem
  • Golan Heights (from Syria)
  • Gaza strip and Sinai peninsula (from Egypt)
  • Israel returned Sinai to Egypt and Egypt
    recognized Israels right to exist
  • Peace treaty signed 1979
  • Camp David Accords
  • Egypts President assassinated by extremist
  • Successor carried out Treaty

Perspective Palestinians
  • After 1973 Palestinians emerged as Israels prime
  • Egypt and Jordan renounced claims to the Gaza
    strip and the West Bank and recognized
    Palestinians as legitimate rulers of these
  • Palestinians saw themselves as legitimate rulers
    of Israel
  • 5 groups consider themselves Palestinians
  • People living in West Bank, Gaza, and East
    Jerusalem in 1967
  • Citizens of Israel who are Muslim
  • People who fled from Israel after the 1948-1949
  • People who fled from West Bank or Gaza after 1967
  • Citizens of other countries, especially Jordan,
    Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia who
    identify themselves as Palestinians
  • After capturing West Bank in 1967 Israel
    permitted building of more than 100 settlements
    in the territory
  • 10 of West Bank population
  • Palestinians regard this as a hostile act
  • To protect settlers, Israel has military control
    over most of the West Bank
  • PLO (Palestinian Liberation Org)
  • Coordinates fight for Palestinians
  • Led by Yassir Arafat until death in 2004
  • Palestinians not satisfied with territory or
    power they have received from Israel
  • Palestinian authority is a limited form of
    government allowed by Israel in West Bank and
  • Palestinians are denied rights
  • Palestinian divisions
  • The people have been divided by a struggle for
  • Fatah party
  • Willing to recognize Israel in return for
  • Hamas party
  • Will not recognize Israel
  • Considered Terrorist organization

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Perspective Israelis
  • Israel sees itself as a very small country with a
    Jewish majority surrounded by a region of hostile
    Muslim Arabs
  • To deal with neighbors, two elements of landscape
    are especially meaningful
  • Countrys pop centers close to international
    borders making them vulnerable to attack
  • Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem
  • Other issue is landforms
  • Northern half of Israel is a strip of land 50
    miles wide between Med. Sea and Jordan River
  • Three parallel regions
  • Coastal plain
  • Series of hills
  • Jordan River valley
  • After armistice in 1949, Israel was allocated
    most of Coastal Plain
  • Jordan took most of hills between plain and
    Jordan Valley
  • Called West Bank (of Jordan River)
  • Used as a defense position for attacks on Israel
  • Farther north Syria controlled highlands east of
    the Valley called Golan Heights
  • Israel captured territory in 1967 war to stop
    attacks on lowland population concentrations
  • Still has military control today
  • Attacks by Palestinians have continued
  • Division within Israelis
  • Some wish to make compromises with Palestinians
  • Some recently a majority have supported a
    construction of a barrier to deter Palestinian

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