- For Teachers
In your view, was religion a unifying or destructive force as colonies around the world became new nations?
Do you know that religion can be a negative impact on a society? Religions usually give beliefs and sense of unity to their believers, but they could be harmful when the colonies tried to gain independence from their mother countries. Religion was a destructive force to those who sought freedom after World War II.
India is one of the best examples that show that religion was a negative factor to the society. India is a subcontinent which contains a variety of religions, such as Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. When India was controlled by the British, it had two political parties: the National League and the Muslim League. The both sides did not cooperate to fight against British. Instead, they competed against each other, and that caused them to be weaker. For example, Muslims did not support the Hindus who fought for independence because they conjectured the more powerful Hindus would gain the control of the new government. Both sides never overcame their religious differences so they were divided into Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka after they became independent. Conflicts still occur in this area between the Tamils who were Muslims, and Sri Lankans who are Buddhists.
Another example would be conflicts in Palestine. After the World War II, the British gave the Palestine area to Jews and established the new nation called Israel. Palestinians who originally were living in that region suddenly became homeless.
In conclusion, religion did not unify people but created more conflicts between different ethnic groups.