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As it is mentioned on page 160 in the book “Religion is an element of cultural diversity that has led to conflict in many localities.” This statement has been true since the time of humanity. Some conflicts, were fought due to religion likethe Crusades, which was fought because of Muslim expansion. However, most wars were fought due economic and political problems but religion does play a big part in conflict. An example of religion causing violence and changing cultures is religion versus communism which is talked about within the book.
Since the arise of communism and the views of Karl Marx, religion has been discouraged and taken out of society. This was especially common, during the twentieth century in Eastern Europe and Asia. Many communist leaders like Vladmir Lenin, Mao Zedong, and others followed Karl Marx’s teachings and believed “religion was the opium of the people”. Due to these views many of these communist countries were predominately atheist and disapproved of religion. This stayed true until the end of the communist rule in the late twentieth century. Then, most of Europe began experiencing revivals through the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. Though things in Eastern Europe began to become normal since the communist regime had been terminated, it wasn’t as easy in Central Asia especially in China.
China was still a communist country and for the most part was atheistic. This resulted in a massive fight against the neighboring country in Tibet during the 1950’s. Tibet had long been ruled by China since 1720 but gained its independence in 1911. During this time, led by the Dalai Lama, Tibet became influenced with Buddhism ands moved away from communism and the atheistic approach. Seeing this happen, China stepped in and decided to takeover Tibet once again in 1950 and theninstalled communism within the country in 1953 to reduce the Buddhist religion. While China was fighting the Tibetan resistance, they felt threatened by the Dalai Lama, which forced him to flee to India with help from the CIA. Then in 1959, a massive uprising occurred between the Tibetan resistance and communist China. This armed conflict occurred in the Kham and Amdo regions and later in Lhasa which resulted in 10,000 to 15,000 Tibetan deaths to occur within three days. Over this entire revolt according to the Chinese, they were involved in the killing of 87,000 Tibetans however; according to a Radio Lhasa broadcast, they claimed that 430,000 died during the Uprising and the 15 years of guerrilla warfare which followed the uprising.
Overall, this event gives us a good picture of how religion has started conflict in our past. Due to religion being such a big part in culture, it is hard to control one another which results in conflict. Now religion is not the main cause of most wars, but it certainly plays a big role within the fight and continues to shape a culture even after a conflict. Religion is not a bad thing in society, but sometimes religion can cause others to feel threatened which allows violence to slip between the cracks of society and create conflict among us.
“History of Tibet (1950–Present).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 July 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Tibet_%281950%E2%80%93present%29