Are religions sources of peace?
Among the most prominent religions, we can cite Christianity as the most popular one, with 2.4 billion congregation members all over the world. Islam holds the second position as being a widespread religi?on with 1.8 billion attendants. Hinduism has approximately 1.6 billion adherents all over the world. The fourth predominant religion in the ranking is Buddhism, which is followed by Folk Religion, with respectively 521 million and 300 million followers.
With such a large number of religious believers in the world, it is common knowledge that the world still lives in conflicts. For that reason, the ambassador of peace Prem Rawat noted that wars and conflicts can happen in any country in the world, no matter how developed the country is. What are the roles of religion in promoting peace? Are religion sources of peace?
What is peace in religion?
Basically, peace or "Shalom" is totally the opposite of chaotic life. In other words, the word chaos represents diseases, hunger, dominion of the antagonistic nation over another, which may eventually lead to wars and all kinds of violence or abuses. As a result, peace denotes a serene state where life is free from any form of chaos.
In religion, peace can be obtained through the power of a divinity or a Supreme Being. Apart from that, peace may also be established to victory over the opponent militants with the use of force and bloodshed. As a result, it can be said that religion is not always a source of peace for humanity.
Does Christianity enhance peace?
Christians believe in the sacredness of human life as it is a gift from God. Respect and protection of life is the mission of Christianity and by doing so, they promote mutual love in order to be at peace with each other. Among the fundamental principles of Christianity, it is said that murder is a sin.
In addition to that, there are many other principles which promote humanitarian acts, like mutual help, mutual prayers, and generosity. To enhance peace, the holy book of the Christians teaches that peacemakers are children of God, which is a great blessing for believers. To educate people about peace, the major laws evolve around fear of God and love of the neighbors.
How does Buddhism promote peace?
Buddhists believe that life is characterized by the abundance of suffering because nothing is supposed to be permanently present in life. Buddha taught that we live in misery because we continually strive after things that do not give everlasting happiness. Friendship, love, possessions, health, beauty, and life are not perpetual; and such an ephemeral condition of things in life leads to sufferings.
For that reason, Buddhists believe that the purpose of our present life is to put an end to all kinds of distress and life constraints. Therefore, to promote peace, Buddhism believes that it is important to enjoy the current life despite all miseries because there is a hope for peace and long-lasting happiness after life.
How does Hinduism promote peace?
According to Hinduism, by acting virtuously and righteously, we can achieve peace. In other words, we are responsible for enhancing peace through righteous acts. Mind tranquility or inner peace is the fruit of good moral and ethical conducts. Hindus believe in their power to inspire and guide the world through their thoughts.
The peace mediator Prem Rawat said in his messages of peace for the universe that spiritually awakened individuals can use their inner strengths to induce harmony into the world. The culture of peace is characterized by love for humanity. Therefore, by doing good to human kinds, it is possible to promote peace and happiness in the world. That is why it is sure that Hinduism is a source of peace.