Religious wars continue to occur because many politicians use the enmity between religions to satisfy their selfish designs. In the face of political power, religions often waver and lose their way. They lose sight of their original purpose, which is to exist for the sake of peace. All religions have a responsibility to advance the cause of world peace. Yet, lamentably, we see that religions instead become the cause of conflict. Behind this evil we find the machinations of politics, with its power and money. The responsibility of a leader, above all else, is to keep the peace. Yet leaders often seem to do the opposite and lead the world into confrontation and violence.
Leaders use the language of religion and nationalism to hide their selfish ambitions. Unless their hearts are set right, countries and nationalities will wander in confusion. Religion and love of one’s nation are not evil in their essence. They are valuable if these impulses are used to contribute to building a global human community. When the claim is made that only a particular religion or ethnic group is right and when other religions and ethnic groups are treated with disdain and attacked, religion and love of nation lose their value. When a religion goes so far as to trample on others and treat other religions as worthless, it no longer embodies goodness. The same is true when love of nation is used to emphasize the righteousness of a person’s own country over others.
The truth of the universe is that we must acknowledge each other and help each other. Even the smallest animals know this. Cats and dogs do not get along, but if you raise them in the same household, they embrace each other’s offspring and are friendly toward each other. We see the same thing in plants. The vine that winds its way up a tree depends on the trunk to support it. The tree, however, does not say, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing, winding your way up my trunk?”
The principle of the universe is for everyone to live together, for the sake of one another. Anyone who deviates from this principle faces certain ruin. If nationalities and religions continue maliciously to attack each other, humanity has no future. There will be an endless cycle of terror and warfare until one day we become extinct. But we are not without hope. Clearly there is hope.
(from the book: As a Peace-loving Global Citizen by Reverend Sun Myung Moon)