Many stories throughout history have been driven by major religions. If oe looks closely to major events, wars, and rises and declines of major civilizations, it is almost always over a dispute of belief (in addition to resources/geography). The consequences of these events can be seen much later in history as well, creating new issues.

Let’s start this story with the Jewish religion. Almost always, the Jews have been persecuted, being pushed in and out of different regions in the Middle East. The biggest force movement was the Jewish Diaspora, where the Romans invaded Israel and caused a large-scale dispersion of the Jews among the “gentiles”, or non-Jews. However, not only was that an issue for the Jews then, it came up again over a thousand years later during the Holocaust, and now the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as “the Jews perceive a special relationship between the land of Israel and themselves” and :only those Jews who migrate to Israel have hope for continued existence as Jews” (Encyclopedia Brittanica: Diaspora). The assimilation and acculturation due to the Diaspora changed the Jewish life and culture fundamentally. It makes you question, what would be the fate of the Middle East right now if the Diaspora hadn’t happened in the first place?


There are countless more examples. From the Moors driven out of Spain, to the “Catholics and Protestants arguing over various issues of faith…which has led to terrible violence”, to “the violence between the Hindus of India and a former part of India called Pakistan that is mainly Muslim”, to the Crusades, many, many wars are driven by the quest of upholding a faith (
Kings History Department: World Religions). Some of the most brutal historical events were caused by a question of pride, especially in modern times, such as the conflict in Yugoslavia or the genocide in Rwanda and the Congo. Things like this force brother against brother, threatens the security of many people, and has many consequences down the line. If religion had not existed, the world could be radically different, both in past historical events and the future. So many cultures are defined by religion, and some of the effects those historical events are not only bad, but could be argued to have caused the proliferation of knowledge, technological advances, and learning experiences. They were crucial in shaping the systems in play today, and how the world is interconnected.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Religion’s Effects on World History by Victoria is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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