Today, there are hundreds of religions claiming to be Christian and these boast of nearly a billion members. The nations of Christendom are among the most powerful in the world. Surely what the religions of Christendom have taught has had much to do with world conditions.
As the New York Times observed: “In the past local Catholic hierarchies almost always supported the wars of their nations, blessing troops and offering prayers for victory, while another group of [Catholic] bishops on the other side publicly prayed for the opposite outcome.” Protestant religious leaders did the same.
Typical was World War I, which broke out in the heart of Christendom. The vast majority of men on both sides were of the same religions. The Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure relates that during the war Roman Catholic Cardinal Amette of Paris said this to the French soldiers:
“My brothers, comrades of the French army and of their glorious allies, the Almighty God is on our side. . . . God is near to our brave soldiers in battle, he gives them strength and fortifies them against the enemy. . . . God will give us the victory.”
At the same time, on the other side, the Catholic archbishop of Cologne, Germany, said to German soldiers:
“God is with us in this fight for righteousness . . . We command you in the name of God, to fight to the last drop of your blood for the honor and glory of the country. . . . God knows that we are on the side of righteousness and he will give us the victory.”
Do the churches represent God when they give such contradictory, hate-filled leadership? After Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935, the Pittsburgh Courier commented:
“The church follows the flag, even though the flag be drenched with the blood of innocent victims of war madness slaughtered in the name of civilization . . .
“And just as the Catholic Church has either approved or seldom disapproved of this international robbery, exploitation and murder, so have the Protestant churches. . . .
“In large part, the spiritual weakness of the Christian Church today is ascribable to its constant compromise with the evils it is supposed to combat.”
During World War II and in wars since then, the churches followWhat, then, of the religions outside Christendom? Is their record different? To the contrary, members of the same non-Christian religions have often killed one another in violent strife and warfare, as history abundantly testifies. Often their religious teachings uphold such violence and bloodshed.
True, in times of peace religious leaders praise peace; then it is popular to do so. And you may at times hear or read of those who take a stand against war even when such a stand is not popular. Yet these same religious leaders frequently show they are not genuinely peaceful, for they engage in protest actions that are often violent. Some even advocate sabotage and revolt against existing governments. But the Bible condemns such a course
The influence of the world’s religions over the nations of earth has been so great that the Bible describes these religions collectively as an empire. They are spoken of under the name “Babylon the Great,” which is said to be “the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:3-5, 15, 18)