Religion, Peace and Conflict – KEY TERMS

Key Terms


Conflict – disagreement, which can lead to fighting or war

Justice – in relation to war has two parts – to put right injustice eg abuse of power by a dictator and to carry out fighting in a just or right way eg Just War Theory

Peace – to live in harmony with all people without fear and violence

Forgiveness – letting go of anger towards someone or a group of people for what they have done wrong. In relation to war, forgiveness might be linked to individuals or on a much larger scale eg forgiveness following mass genocide

Reconciliation – to rebuild a relationship. Reconciliation is very important following conflict

Terrorism – an act of violence designed to create panic and fear

Terrorist – a person who carries out acts of terror

Holy War – a war fought in the name of God; believing God has sanctioned the war

Just War – a war fought under the just war criteria eg started and controlled by the government

Pacifism – belief that all war and killing is wrong

Conscientious Objector – a person who refuses to fight in a war when conscripted as it goes against their conscience. Many conscientious objectors were religious eg Muhammad Ali/Quaker Christians

WMD – Weapon of mass destruction. Could be nuclear, biological or chemical. They are designed to kill large numbers of people

Protest – voicing disagreement over something


Overall Viewpoints


Christianity – God wants human beings to live together in peace and justice. If war is necessary it should be fought justly to establish the greater good. Christianity has a long history of pacifism.


Islam – Muslims should strive for justice which can mean armed conflict but violence is condemned and wars should be carried out in the right way to achieve freedom.


Exam Tip – Make sure you know the definitions of the key words above.


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