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Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Unit 8.3 Religion: Peace & Conflict

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1 Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Unit 8.3 Religion: Peace & Conflict
© Phillip Allen USA Russia UK China France India Pakistan Israel Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Unit 8.3 Religion: Peace & Conflict ?

2 Key Words Weapons of Mass Destruction: Weapons that can devastate large areas and kill huge numbers of people. Pacifism: A belief that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means. Just War: A war that is fought in a right way and for the right reasons. Conflict Resolution: Bringing a fight or struggle to a peaceful conclusion. United Nations: An international body set up to promote world peace and cooperation. Aggression: Attacking without being provoked. Exploitation: Taking advantage of a weaker group. Respect: Treating a person or their feelings with consideration. World Peace: The ending of war throughout the whole world (basic aim of the UN). Bullying: Intimidating or frightening people who are weaker than yourself. Forgiveness: Stopping blaming someone and/or pardoning a person for what they have done wrong. Reconciliation: Bringing people back together to a point of harmony after a dispute.

3 Bullying Examples of bullying Why bullies bully
Conflict also happens between individuals. A common result of personal conflict is bullying. Bullying: ‘Hurting, intimidating or frightening people who are physically or powerfully weaker than you.’ Examples of bullying Why bullies bully Causing deliberate physical harm (e.g. hitting). Calling people names. Telling lies against a person. Causing them to have a low self esteem by demeaning them. Damaging or taking personal property. Purposefully attempting to ruin a persons reputation. Problems at home. Having been a victim of bullying in the themselves. Wanting to look tough. Low self esteem. An average of 10 children each year commit suicide as a direct result of bullying.

4 has been known to lead to suicide.
Fact: Bullying also happens to adults, in the workplace. People who have more power can intimidate you causing mental stress to victims which has been known to lead to suicide. Society and Bullying UK law treats verbal bullying as an assault and any bullying which results in physical harm is classed as aggravated assault which carries a prison sentence. Society tries to protect people from bullying All schools must have an anti-bullying policy and students should be encouraged to report bullying. Trade unions have procedures to help protect those who are bullied in the workplace Society is against bullying because it harms people mentally, socially, academically and physically. It is against a person’s human rights to be able to be free from fear. It harms society as it restricts the victim and the bully from making a positive contribution to society. Civilised society is based on law and mutual respect, bullying ignores both.

5 Religion and Bullying All modern religions see
bullying as wrong because: In the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matt 25), Jesus said how we treat others should be the same as we would God. The Golden Rule states we should treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. Christians (and Jews) believe people are made in the image of God, bullying is an assault against God. Islam teaches every member of the ummah should be treated equal and all Muslims should act like brothers. Muslims believe it is wrong because the Qur’an teaches to protect the vulnerable of society (Surah 90:12-16). Shari’ah law is based on mutual respect and upholding what is ‘just’. Bully involves neither of these.

6 Conflicts Between Family
Conflicts can happen between families. They usually happen because of differing ideas, jealousy or the need to feel respected or feared. Family Religious Causes Children no longer wanting to follow their parent’s religion. Parent’s see it as a duty and may worry about future life choice and the afterlife for their child. Mixed faith marriages raises the issue of which faith will be followed in the home and the faith of any children. Children being more religious than their parents cause parents to worry about fundamentalism. Living together, having a divorce or abortion can cause issues. Parents refusing to accept child’s choice of partner. Siblings disagreeing as children or as adults. Child’s choice of career. Disputes over money, work, relationships etc. Conflict over the contents of wills. A family member’s choice of religion. Moral issues such as divorce, cohabiting, abortion, etc.

7 Christianity; Forgiveness & Reconciliation
Forgiveness: ‘The act of no longer apportioning blame and pardoning a person for what they have done.’ Reconciliation: ‘Bringing people back together and to a point of harmony after a dispute.’ Christianity sees forgiveness and reconciliation as the way to end conflicts. They believe this because:  Jesus died on the cross to bring forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God.  Jesus told Peter to forgive not 7 times but 77 times. This means forgive completely and continually.  The Lord’s prayer states ‘Forgive me my sins, as I forgive the sins of others.’ How can we expect God’s forgiveness if we don’t forgive others.  Jesus’ told parables about the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation. E.g. The Unmerciful Servant (Matt 18:21-35) and the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

8 Christianity; Forgiveness & Reconciliation
Very occasionally Christianity states there are times when reconciliation may not be possible.  St Paul stated that if a fellow Christian’s lifestyle is clearly going against what God wants and they repeatedly refuse to change their ways, then they should not be allowed membership of the church.  If a friend or family member refuses to accept your faith in God and you are forced to choose between them, you should choose God and your faith. Christians are warned about not forgiving others. ‘For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ (Matt 6:14-16) However, a Christian should always be willing to work towards forgiveness and reconciliation when possible.

9 Islam; Forgiveness & Reconciliation
Islam teaches that Allah is forgiving and merciful to all who turn from their sins and to him. Muslims believe: Muslims should be merciful and compassionate towards others, because Allah is merciful and compassionate towards them. The Qur’an states ‘If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward will be from God.’ Surah 42:40 However, a Muslim should not forgive those who are working against Islam seeking to destroy it or a person’s faith in it. There are many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Hadith) stating Muslims should forgive others.

10 Weapons of Mass Destruction
Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have been seen as the ultimate deterrent since their first and only use in military conflict in August 1945. Weapons of Mass Destruction: ‘Weapons that can devastate large areas and kill huge numbers of people’. WMD fall into three main categories: Nuclear Weapons. Biological Weapons. Chemical Weapons. Nuclear Weapons Nuclear weapons work through a method of either splitting an atom (fission) or joining multiple atoms together (fusion) creating massive amounts of energy.

11 France, India and Pakistan.
Countries currently in possession of nuclear weapons are USA, Russia, UK, China, France, India and Pakistan. USA Russia UK China France India Pakistan Israel Nuclear Update Since 1945 scientists have greatly developed nuclear weaponry. Today the hydrogen bomb is 1,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima. In the UK the main nuclear capability are housed in 200 Trident missiles each containing 3 nuclear warheads, each warhead is 1,000 times more powerful than in That is the equivalent to 600,000 Hiroshima bombs. The argument for having such weaponry was known as ‘MAD’ (Mutually Assured Destruction), if one nuclear nation was to attack another, both would be annihilated. Although they have never officially admitted or denied it, most people believe Israel also has a nuclear capability. The UN now restrict countries from gaining a nuclear capability. Only those countries who already possess a nuclear capability may have them. However, this has not stopped countries such as North Korea and Iran, from attempting to gain nuclear weapons.

12 Nationalism & Ethnicity
Religion Economics Different religions followed in one place can cause conflict (Kashmir is a mainly Muslim area in a mostly Hindu country). Disputes within religions (Sunni & Shia Muslims fighting for control in Iraq) When two religious groups claim one area as their God given land (Israel and Palestine). World economy (financial security) can cause conflicts if one country has a resource another country needs (oil, gas). If economic problems hit hard it can lead to civil unrest causing refugees to flee and some citizens of nearby countries not wanting refugees (Zimbabwe and South Africa) CAUSES OF WAR Ideology & Politics Nationalism & Ethnicity If one group holds particular strong viewpoints on certain issues (ideologies) and then tries to enforce those views on other people or neighbouring countries, this can case national or even world wars (Nazi Germany, Communist North Korea on the Republic of South Korea). When an ethnic or cultural group within a region or country is much larger than other groups, they can favour their own group over another, this can lead to the minority groups fighting civil wars (Kosovo). Some minority groups want to set up their own breakaway states (Tamils on Sri-Lanka)

13 The United Nations & World Peace
World Peace: ‘The removing of the cause of war leading to freedom, harmony and happiness in all nations.’ After World War II, 50 nations joined together to form an organisation committed to supporting international law and security, economic development, social progress and human rights. The United Nations (UN) as it is called now has 192 member states. The United Nations seek to bring peace to areas before conflicts start often by introducing and enforcing economic and political sanctions, restrictions on trade or freedom of international travel. As a last resort armed forces made up of military personnel from member nations can be deployed to enforce peace and bring a swift resolution to potential conflicts. One of the key aims of the United Nations is; world peace.

14 Kosovo Yugoslavia was a country made up of six republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia) and two autonomous (self governing) regions, both based in Serbia (Vojvodina and Kosovo). With the end of direct communist rule, Yugoslavia eventually collapsed and broke up into different member states. This was not an easy transition and inevitably war broke out between some of the republics. In 1989, the President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, took control of Kosovo. The people of Kosovo, who were mainly ethnic Albanians, resisted Serbia’s rule but the Serbian army were too strong. The Serbian army began the mass execution of the Albanian Kosovo’s - this is known as ‘ethnic cleansing’. Hundreds of thousands of people fled and thousands of men, women and children were murdered. The United Nations tried to negotiate a deal over Kosovo but when Milosevic rejected it, NATO forces began a bombing campaign driving Serbian troops out. In 1999 the UN took control of Kosovo giving the people there it’s protection.

15 Kosovo UN peacekeeping forces were sent to the region with several aims. They were to bring an end to Serbian aggression against the people of Kosovo. To offer protection for the people of Kosovo allowing for refugees to feel they were able to return home. To stop Kosovar militia from entering traditionally Serbian communities in Kosovo and offer protection against revenge attacks. Since 1999 the UN have helped Kosovar politicians set up political parties, established democracy, law and order and an education system. In 2008 Kosovar was able to establish an independent democratic state recognised by most nations, although not Serbia or Russia. In 2008 the UN downgraded their Mission in Kosovo to allow the European Union to help Kosovo become an independent state in its own right.

16 Christianity and the ‘Just War Theory’
St Thomas Aquinas developed seven criteria by which a Christian may feel a war to be justified (acceptable).  A Just Cause: resisting aggression removing injustice.  By Legitimate Authority: instigated by governments not organisations.  By Just Intention: The reason and purpose must be for the greater good and not material gain.  A Probability of Success: There is a reasonable chance of success, lives will not be unnecessarily put at risk.  A Just Proportion: Excessive force should not be used.  A Last Resort: Only when all diplomatic areas fail.  Warfare is Discriminate: Civilians are not targeted.

17 Christianity and a ‘Just War’
All Christians believe they should work towards peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. However, whilst this may be the primary aim, many believe that on occasion war may be an inevitable means of securing that peace. Jesus said ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s…’ this means we have an obligation to support the government. Church leaders from key Christian denominations (including Anglican, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist & URC) state Christians have the right to fight in just wars. St Paul “Everyone must submit to their governing authorities because it is God who has given them that position, he who rebels, rebels against God.” Romans 13:1-2 “Remind the people to obey their rulers and authorities, to be obedient, and to be ready to do what is right.” Titus 3:1 Jesus also saw that faith and military service do not need to be separated as he commended the faith of a Roman Centurion (Luke 7).

18 Christian Pacifism Pacifism: ‘Refusing to fight in a war due to a belief that the use of force and violence has no justification.’ Many Christians today are pacifists, claiming there can be no justification for violence. They think this because:  Jesus taught his followers to ‘turn the other cheek’ and not retaliate. (Matthew 5:39)  The 5th commandment bans killing. (Exodus 20:13).  Wars affect civilian lives not just the military.  Jesus stopped Peter from using violence and said ‘He who lives by the sword will die by the sword.’ (Matt26:52)  Jesus said ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’ (Matt 5:9)

19 Islamic Views on War The Arabic word ‘jihad’ means to struggle or strive’. Islam teaches that Muslims should be prepared to struggle or strive in the way of Islam. The lesser jihad is about the physical struggles against the enemies of Islam. Muslims will sometimes see their jihad as a Holy War, particularly if they feel Islam itself is being attacked. For Muslims the most important struggle they must undertake is called the greater jihad or the internal jihad. A spiritual and emotional fight to become truly submitted to the will of Allah (The word ‘Islam’ means submission, the word ‘Muslim’ means one who submits to God).  The Qur’an teaches that Muslims must fight if they are attacked.  Muhammad himself fought in wars.  The Hadith permits justifiable wars.  The Qur’an teaches that anyone who dies in a just war will go directly to heaven. However, some Muslims believe Islam to be a religion of peace and modern warfare means no war can be just, so oppose all wars.

20 An Islamic ‘Just War’ Fight in the cause of god those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits, god does not love those who transgress. (Surah 2:190)  It must be fought for a Just Cause: either Islam is being attacked, people are suffering, or in self defense.  It must be a Last Resort: all possible non-violent means of resolving the problem have been tried.  It must be authorised by a Muslim Authority: By a religious leader or council of leaders.  It must cause Minimal Suffering: to all sides involved.  It must not target Innocent Civilians: especially the elderly, the young and women.  It must end when the Enemies Surrender: Prisoners of war are to be returned.

21 Religious Peace Organisations
All religions have groups which are working for world peace. These groups work by lobbying politicians, raising public awareness and campaigning for human rights. Their main motivations are forgiveness, reconciliation and peace. Task: Create a short fact-file on one of the following agencies: Pax Christi - (Xian) Neve Shalom - (Jewish/Palestinian) JPF - (Jewish) Muslim Peace Fellowship - (Islamic) N.B. Your fact file should include Who they are, examples of what they do and an explanation of their motivation (why they do what they do).

22 Revision Checklist Key Words. Bullying, examples of and reasons for. The effects on society and the laws surrounding bullying. Religious perspectives on bullying. Conflicts within families. Christianity, forgiveness and reconciliation. Islam, forgiveness and reconciliation. Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s). Causes of war. The United Nations and the desire for world peace. The United Nations and the Serbian/Kosovo conflict. The ‘Just War Theory’. Christian attitudes to war (including Christian pacifism). Islamic views on war. Islamic ‘Just War Theory’. Religious organisations working for peace.

23 Notes


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