The beaut they say about the human race is that it's a spur to our highest achievement and a incentive to our worst nightmare, hence it's been sod's law since primordial time that with great advancement comes great chaos, as time begets time, and humanity evolved in attitude, character and invention, so came the birth of all global social Ill, war, terrorism, kidnapping, ritualism, e.t.c. To these I'll add religion the most vitiating of all Global social Ill.
It's indeed a mystery, man's greatest dilemma, religion, man's greatest creation create the same thing that is extinguishing the human race. The fact is iron clad that religion is the crux of all known Ill, in fact the totality of all known global social ill is embedded in religion. Do not get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong in believing in God but believing in religion is the problem. Let's not be sentimental, look around you, if you've perhaps not felt religious bane before, search the Internet, you will notice that the worst atrocities in human history has been in the name of religion, this is not just a speculation, it's a fact with historical proof and I will show you.
In 1300 for instance, the Aztecs began there elaborate theocracy and brought Human sacrifice to golden Era. About 2000 persons were killed yearly to appease the gods especially the sun god who needed daily nourishment of blood. Heart of sacrificed victims where cut out and their bodies where eaten ceremoniously. Other victims where drowned, beheaded, burned or dropped from a height. In a rite to the rain god, crying children were killed at several site so that there tears might induce rain. In a rite to the Maize goddess, a virgin danced for 24hours and was killed and skinned. Her skin was worn by a priest in further dancing. One account say that at King Ahuitzot's coronation, 80000 prisoners where butchered to please the gods.
In the year 1400,the Catholic Church shifted it's focus to witchcraft. Priest tortured untold thousands of women into confessing that they where witches who flew through the sky and engaged in sex with the devil. They were burned in a stake or hanged after accepting due to the unbearable torture. Witch hysteria range for three century in dozen nations. Estimate of the number executed vary from 100000 to 2million. The witch craze was religious madness at its worst
Islamic religious law decress that thieves shall have there hand and feet chopped off and unmarried lovers shall be killed. In Sudan in 1983, 66 thieves were axed in public. A moderate Muslim leader Mahmoud Mohammed Taha was hanged for heresy in 1984 because he opposed the amputation. In Saudi Arabia, a teen aged princess and her lover were executed in public in i977. In Pakistan in 1984,a 25year old carpenter's daughter was sentenced to be stoned to death for engaging in unmarried sex. In united Arab Emirates in 1984,a cook and a maid were sentenced to stoning for adultery.
In India, members of the thuggee strangled people as sacrifice to appease the blood thirsty goddess Khali. The number of victim has been estimated to be as high as 2 million. Thugee were claiming about 20000 lives in a year.
The Maryam theocracy in the 11th and 18th century drowned about 200 virgins each year to appease the feathered serpent God.
In 1200,the incas built their empire in Peru, at major ceremony it was recorded that about 200 babies where burnt as offering, special chosen women, about 500 where strangled.
In the late 50s,Jim Jones founder of the church "the people's temple" order the mass suicide of 900 members,he claimed it was an order from God.
In 1994,Di mambo founder of a religious cult called "order of the solar temple" ordered the murder of a child using a wooden stake, he claimed the child was the Anti-christ. He also ordered the Mass suicide of 300 members.
This are just few out of many, there are thousand atrocities far beyond the edge of this article.
Religion stretches further beyond just atrocity, it's been recorded among others with the highest death rate, for example:
The Taiping war:90,000,000 death.
Muslim conquest of india:80,000,000.
Sudanese civil war:2,000,000.
Bokoharam in Nigeria:13,000.
The eighty days war:1,000,000.
American genocide:1,500,000. Etc
Recent time haven't changed a bit as with old times, today scorches by religion are yet unimaginable, devastating and damaging. It has caused the world a great deal and it's still causing it. The Bokoharam terrorist group in North Nigeria , the violent activities of ISIS, the Afghanistan conflict, Pakistan conflict, Sudan conflict, Arab hostility on christain are incidence attesting to this fact.
WHAT RELIGION CAN CAUSE
War, terrorism, kidnapping, human sacrifice, division etc are some of the thing religion can cause
WAY FORWARD(USING MUSLIM AND CHRISTAIN AS CASE STUDY)
Have you notice that not everyone in a particular religion actually indulge or support a violent act, why is it so? The answer is because those set of people who indulge in violent or atrocious act in the name of religion is due to mistaken believe, misconception and misinterpretation. They feel it's the right thing to do and that's what there faith commands, so they look for a way to express this faith, in most cases they quote verses out of context in holy books to justify their action. Some christain use the scriptures (Samuel12:3) and the old testament rule of "AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH" to commit mass slaughter on people who are not Christian, especially the Muslim. The fail to understand that Jesus Christ who represents the christain religion, modified those practice in the new testament(mathew5:38) and that most old testament practice do not apply in the new testament. Jesus himself taught love as the greatest commandments, he demonstrated love till he died
Jihad which most muslim look up to as a divine commandment for committing all sort of social disorder, is actually not violent in nature. Jihad has nothing to do with killing people who are not Muslim or some holy war, it's all a misconception and interpretation.
Renoun Islamic leader and intellect in Islam have attested to this fact(read shayka Mohammed Heisman Kabban, chairman Islamic supreme Council of America article titled "Jihad a misunderstood concept in Islam for clarity). In fact there are countless verses from the Holy Quran kicking against killing people who are non Muslim(Quran 40:9 and 6:8)
The way forward therefore is to promote a heighten awareness world wide in school, place of worship, seminars etc about the peace building and reconciliation role religion can play. Religious leaders in the different religion should teach that their religion isn't really violent, they should teach more on love and peace.
Inter-faith dialogue would be useful at all level of religious hierarchies and across community, where misunderstanding is common, learning other people's religion would be a powerful step towards bringing religious peace.