Introduction: Is religion a force for peace or war? Or to borrow a phrase from the title of Christopher Hitchen’s book, God Is Not Great, does religion really poison everything, including the possibility of living in a peaceful world?
The answer is much like posing the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. That is to say, for every example cited to prove that religion has supported warfare and violence, other examples can be presented to show ways in which religion has contributed to peace and the avoidance of war, reconciliation between bitter enemies and the general betterment of humanity and the world. When the question is posed in this way, the debate is as endless as it is futile unless the “winner” is the side that amasses the greatest number of examples.