I remember once having a rare conversation with my father about religion. I was seventeen at the time and had started to attend a local Pentecostal church whose services I much enjoyed. My father hardly spoke about religion, but on this occasion he warned me to have nothing to do with it because of all the wars it has caused. I am glad to say that I did not take my father’s misguided advice and that my father became a Christian within hours of his death. I look forward to seeing him once more in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).
What my father was articulating was the frequent accusation among critics of religion that religion is disproportionately the cause of violent conflict. This view seems plausible. As an example, the Crusades against Middle Eastern Muslims readily come to mind.