Top Ten Atrocities Committed In the Name of Religion

An estimated 89 percent of the world's population believes in some sort of monotheistic or polytheistic system - some type of religion. While the numbers per religion are only estimates, the overall message is that humans are a religious race.

The old adage of not talking about religion and politics at the dinner table to avoid conflict has never been more true as it is today. Religion is something people generally take so seriously that they have fought and died in the name of a particular belief system since the dawn of mankind.

With so many differing belief systems coexisting in an over-populated world, toes are bound to get stepped on. By and large, these disputes are more personal and result in either hurt feelings or, in some cases, ruined friendships. The potential for escalation is always present however and the propensity for violence among religious followers has been documented for millennia.

Ever since the first religions were organized there have been fights between followers. Some of these struggles have devolved onto a global scene and have taken the lives of millions. Below are some of the worst violent atrocities performed in the name of religion. This is not merely a list relating death tolls but rather the brutality, unfairness, and ignorance of the act (s) performed. And all justified as the will of "God".

The Top Ten

1 The Crusades (Christianity)

Not sure if these comments are...
Don't know what to say! - BorisRule

These comments... - ElSherlock

Yeah the Crusades were born out of Christian fervor. The Pope ordered it simply out of greed for new Christian lands. He was invited by the Byzantine Emperor to help him defend his lands but he asked for just a few hundred elite soldiers and instead got a whole army led by one very religious man and one guy who was more concerned about lining his pockets. It is simply about control which the Christian Church sells in wholesale to the masses. But Christianity is not alone in that as they simply try and get as much power and control and money as they can get. Greed begets Greed and it gets called a great many things like the Crusades or a Jihad or the Holocaust. They may be organized by the power of their churches or by a singular person within them using divisive language sometimes supported by the leaders of their respective religions but they do espouse hate for another and call for violence to perpetrated against others.

Wow as A Christian I can not believe the atrocities caused by Christians. I never really looked into it, It's shocking that people have killed & hurt others in the name of Christianity when These things are completely condemned in The Holy Bible. Judging others/ Racism, Hurting others, Revenge, Murder all these things are forbidden and sinful acts. Wow These people really were not True Christians. They weren't acting in the Name of Jesus Christ anyway. Jesus's message was for us to Repent for our sins & turn to God, To Love our Neighbor, Not Judge Others, Be Kind to each other, Love Our Enemies, Borrow to the person who asks to borrow off you, Not Be Greedy, Share with others, the virtue that Christianity is built upon is Love. These people were obviously not acting out of Love but our of hate in there heart, That Hate doesn't come from Christianity, They have been lead astray.

OH yes they were. OH yes they were. Just another robot mindlessly accepting the things that are good and declining things that are bad. - ARandomPerson

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2 Jihads (Islam)

This is highly incorrect and honestly super islamphobic. None of this is supported by fact and only by bigotry.

While Jihad is not the traditional "terrorist" vision commonly propogated in the United States post 9/11, there is a violent past associated with it within the Muslim community. The term "Jihad" translated as "struggle" or "resisting" and is meant to refer to the defense of the religion against oppressors. Much like the common "defending the American way of life" adage however, Jihadists have been active in armed military actions for 12 centuries and have claimed millions of lives in the name of Islam.

Christians have undoubtedly killed millions in the name of God, but the sadistic and barbaristic methods with which these acts were undertaken has long since given way to an array of pacifistic and peaceful methods. It is simply fact that the Muslim faith has changed very little over the last 700+ years and the sadistic and barbaristic methods employed then are still widely used today. Not to mention the unabashed chauvinism and racism. Yes Christianity is rife with that as well, but no one can say that these are not some of the most steadfast and widely held beliefs of all Muslims.

This whole thing about Jihads being a "struggle" or "resistance" is baloney. It was used as an excuse for emirs in Syria to raid the Eastern Roman Empire during the 9th century, basically they plundered it like pirates except they were on land. - bagel

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3 The Holocaust (Christianity)

Hitler may have been religious, but in no way were his actions in the name of his religious affiliation. This was an atrocity committed against religion by a nation and its corrupt leaders. - Archived

Just because someone who causes atrocities and is a Christian does NOT mean they did it in the name of religion or Christianity, it just means they are a Christian who killed someone, same if an atheist kills someone, it's not like they killed someone because of there atheist views. Or a Hindu kills someone, it doesn't mean they killed because of there Hindu beliefs. It's silly. But It is different with Muslims and Islam though because The Koran tells people to strike the necks and fingertips off infidels and non - believers. And to "kill them wherever you may find them". So extremists act upon this and carry out murder in the name of Islam because the Koran tells them to. Then they hold up there hands and say we did this because you insulted the Prophet Muhammad or whatever, because they are doing what Jihad in the Koran asks of them to do and they openly tell you this they are raping and murdering and terrorizing people because THERE RELIGION TELLS THEM TO do this. NO WHERE in The ...more

Jesus never told His followers to kill anyone! Hitler may have been christian who carried out atrocities but he didn't do it in Jesus name. The Holocaust has nothing to do with Christianity, everything about Christianity condemns what Hitler did. Murder & hate is not something Christianity encourages. Christianity is built upon the virtue of LOVE & it tells us to love each other, be kind to each other, not to seek revenge, to forgive people even when they wrong you, pray for those who persecute you, pray for sinners, one of the greatest commandments that Jesus gave us was To Love your neighbor.

Hitler is the whole embodiment of pure evil.

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4 The Inquisition (Christianity)

Everyone has heard of the "Spanish Inquisition" but the Inquisition is actually a group of institutions within the Roman Catholic Church. Tracing back to the 12th-century, the goal of the institutions is to combat secular sectarianism. Aimed at keeping it's own members "faithful" the Catholic Church began holding trials for those with non-mainstream beliefs within the church and, for along period of time, engaging in torture to coerce the individual to conform. In the cases where no repentance was received, the death penalty was used as punishment. All in all there were an estimated 300,000 people put on trial with about 6,000 being executed.

This was undoubtedly the most evil, disgusting institution in the history of mankind. How humans could be depraved enough to do these things to other humans in the name of God sickens me to no extent. As bad as every war in history has been, nothing compares to the sick, Satanic, genocidal, horrors committed by the inquisition in the name of the catholic church.

To sum it up, those who didn't follow what the church said, including Muslims, Jews, and Protestants, were found, questioned, and killed. This shows the corruption of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. - ethanmeinster

Once again...thanks Catholics...

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5 Genocide of Native Americans (Christianity)

"It wasn't a genocide"... it absolutely WAS a genocide. They were systematically starved, given blankets with smallpox, had their children removed, were shot if they didn't relocate, were forced to relocate by walking with no supplies etc all winter, (Trail of Tears... they were forced to start marching across the US in October, men, women, elderly, children... dying of cold and exhaustion). The buffalo were slaughtered, as mandated by the colonial govts, so that they went from 25 million to about 600 individual animals, over just a few years= mass starvation. There are good books about how it was both a genocide and a cultural genocide.

The killing, enslavement, cultural destruction heaped on Native peoples in the name of Christianity is a disgusting paradox to the true message of the Christ.

This was one of the worst atrocities ever.

It wasn't a genocide. However, their cultures were systematically assimilated. - DieGedankenSindFrei

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6 9/11 (Islam)

Terrible how little people care about those who died

Should be much, much higher.

9/11 you mean terrorists?

This should be 1. KKK and Holocaust were not Christian; they actually hated Christians.

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7 Muslim Conquests 622-1924 (Islam)

This should be number 1. The Muslim Conquests were like tons of Crusades repeated throughout the Middle East and Africa.

People are little aware of the Muslim conquests, but all to knowledgeable of the papal lead charge to spread Catholicism across the Americans and Africa. The Muslims had a very similar plan, and one of the consequences of this was not only death at the hands of Islamic invaders but death at the hands of Christians sent to quash the Muslim invasion.

By far the most brutal of all if this was in the name of Christianity you would hear all about it

Islam is evil...

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8 The Ku Klux Klan Murders (Christianity)

Christianity was a fundamental tenet of the KKK... There has never been a non-christian faction of the Ku Klux Klan.

If they are Christians, then they are Christians. Unlike atheists, Christians are a cohesive group. If we don't count Christians because YOU DON'T AGREE then atheists have never killed anyone, seeing as atheists have nothing in common, never joined any atheist groups, and don't all agree to the same beliefs. YOU put us in a group together, not us. So if the the group you choose to belong to does not pertain to you, then how can a group we never choose to belong to, pertain to us?

Hmm, I see lots of atrocities on this page caused by Christianity, But these atrocities really have NOTHING to do with Being A Christian at all, the KKK were racists who killed people, this has NOTHING to do with Christianity, no where in The Bible does it say it is OK for a human to kill another human, it is one of the Ten Commandments "Thou Shalt Not Kill" These people must have been non-practicing Christians at the least because they were not following God or The Bible when they carried out these atrocities. The Bible condemns murder & hatred.

I thought that they hated Christians. They put up burning crosses! - NicholasYellow

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9 Armenian Genocide (Islam)

This genocide inspired Hitler holocaust so much, he believed he could get away with the holocaust just like the turks did with this genocide.

I'm half Armenian so I'm voting for this.

Turks are a genocide people...

10 Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus (Islam)

Islam is a curse for 1400 years

Islam itself is a bloody terrorism.

Please understand that not all of those who follow Islam are terrorists - ElSherlock

They Killed them, Reaped the women who did not agree to willingly submit. They had a slogan.. "Kill the man and Keep the women to grow the ISLAM"
All men and children were killed brutally! Government of India, media all went on silent. Some feared vote bank and some feared life!

The Contenders

11 French Wars of Religion (Christianity)

The French Wars of Religion is the name of a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants. Between 2 and 4 million people were killed.

12 Witch Hunts & Wiccan Murders (Christianity)

Wicca is a modern name for Paganism.
It was Witch Hunts & Pagan Murders.

Wiccan? So that would be modern day? Can you site cases?

Before 'good Christians' murdered witches (most of the estimated several million victims of the witch trials who were tortured/murdered/property stolen by the Christian churches were in fact NOT witches, just some poor soul accused of being a witch by an enemy) they murdered untold millions of Pagans /Heathens during the 'convert to Christianity or else' process to spreading Christianity's

Wait, so you're ok with murdering 300,000 people if you spread it out over 300 years? That almost three murders a day.

Hail Satan, apparently.

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13 Biblical Endorsement to Mistreat Homosexuals (Christianity)

The church made homosexuality illegal.
There is still homophobia around because not everyone will either get with the times realise that love is love or its still illegal in another country they live in.

So only "biblical" huh? Pretty sure almost EVERY organized religion, especially Christianity (some sects) and Islam condemn the homosexual. Islamic law, which is paramount in many Middle Eastern and African nations, is much harsher than mainstream Christianity. Think you got this one mixed up there chief.

Does your bible contain the old testament? If so, own it or take it out. There is no place between the old and new testament that says STOP HERE.

God damn bible

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14 30 Years' War (Christianity)

Woah Christianity in the past was really dark, like the Bible. Oh and I wonder if they read it more than the Fundies nowadays and didn't cherry pick, but just guessing.

Initially, religion was a motivation for the war as Protestant and Catholic states fought over what is now modern-day Germany and Italy. Involving most of the European countries, it was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history with an estimated 3 to 11.5 million casualties.

This war destroyed a third of the population, it caused starvation and disease. The landscape of Northern Europe was obliterated, most forests were gone. It pretty much destroyed everything.

What in the world? This was just another war. If this is on the list, then we live in a nice world.

15 Mayan Sacrifice (Mayan)

Human sacrifice blossomed in the Mayan theocracy of Central America between the 11th and 16th centuries. To appease a feathered-serpent god, maidens were drowned in sacred wells and other victims either had their hearts cut out, were shot with arrows, or were beheaded.

Not as bad as the Aztec sacrifices. As my history teacher says, Mayans were tiny compared to the Aztecs in sacrifice. However, a heart being ripped out is just mortifying. It sure is a good thing that these sacrifices don't happen anymore... right? - ethanmeinster

16 India and Pakistan Partition (Hindu & Muslims) 1947
17 Incan Sacrifice (Incan)

N the 1200s the Incas built their empire in Peru, a society dominated by priests reading daily magical signs and offering sacrifices to appease many gods. At major ceremonies up to 200 children were burned as offerings. Special "chosen women" were strangled.

18 Thuggee Murders (Muslim)

Mistake there in the title: Thuggees were HinduS not Muslim.

Incorrect. This is NOT a Muslim religion.

Members of lndia's Thuggee sect strangled people as sacrifices to appease the goddess Kali, a practice beginning in the 1500s. The number of victims has been estimated to be as high as 2 million. Thugs were claiming about 20,000 lives a year in the 1800s. At a trial in 1840, one "Thug" was accused of killing 931 people.

19 Beheading of Journalists (Islam)

*vomits* - BorisRule

Sickness by Muslims

It was just banter

20 Abortion clinic bombings (Christianity)

This is the single most important atrocity being committed today. This and the manipulative control of access to this kind of birth control. The same pro-lifers that bizarrely take lives for this reason, abandon these unborn children in life and refuse to help support parents who knew they couldn't handle a child in the first the place. UPVOTE THIS!

21 Boston Marathon Bombings (Islam)

I know killing is terrible but 4 people is does not belong in the atrocities of mankind's history

The Boston 911 was a couple of disaffected youths with a pressure cooker full of fireworks, which kind of works as a way to describe Boston's relationship to New York in general.

This is such bull man. Ruined the entire experience that I was having reading this list till now.

You've posted on this site that opinions don't matter. So I won't give my opinion. I will state the fact that Islam commands Muslims to murder. It's in the Koran and Hadiths. NO Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists are murdering in the name of their god. Only Muslims murder for their God=Allah. You're not kidding anyone with your numbers of other religions murdering in the name of their God. You can't find it in the New Testament. Jesus akbar? Nope.

22 2009 Fort Hood Shooting (Islam)
23 7/7/2005 (Islam)
24 The Peoples Temple Suicides (Christianity)
25 Christchurch Mosque Shootings (Christianity)

Terrorism has no religion

Terrorism has no religion!

This wasn't Christianity.

26 Anabaptists (Christianity)

The Anabaptists, communal "rebaptizers," were slaughtered by both Catholic and Protestant authorities. In Munster, Germany, Anabaptists took control of the city, drove out the clergymen, and proclaimed a New Zion. The bishop of Munster began an armed siege. While the townspeople starved, the Anabaptist leader proclaimed himself king and executed dissenters. When Munster finally fell, the chief Anabaptists were tortured to death with red-hot pincers and their bodies hung in iron cages from a church steeple.

Wow, these people are Munsters.

27 Death of Elyse Pahler (Satanism)

You should definitely look this one up. It is so damn creepy.

28 Satanic Sacrifices (Satanism)

There never really was any satanism around the modern period. But back then? Yeah probably - SirSkeletorThe3rd

29 Mistreatment of Women (Islam)

They are mistreated in all possible ways..

30 Gujarat Riots (Hinduism)

In Gujarat riots Hindu people and some political leaders plan the riot against Muslims. This riots killed more than 5000 Muslims.The property of Muslims were brutally destroyed, girls and women were raped. I think it should be rank 2nd after crusade because it was plan and done by common Hindus and it shows directly their mindset...where as 9/11 was political and plan by few people who were the previously raise and funded by US itself...And I don't think that it was the intention of Muslims.

31 Indian Rebellion of 1857 (Christianity)

Sonscritona/Sanskritana/Sonatona/Sanatana/PseudoAryana on one hand brought Europeans/British against Muslim/Mughal rule for hefty amounts of resources/gold, and on the other hand [mis]led/propagandized people/public/populace/populations aganist the developing/er British, who were industrializing/progressing India, too.

32 Christianization of Scandinavia (Christianity)
33 Cossack Massacres (Orthodox Christianity)

Ukrainian Bogdan Chmielnicki was a Cossack Cromwell. He wore the banner of Eastern Orthodoxy in a holy war against Jews and Polish Catholics. More than 100,000 were killed in the 17th-century.

34 Mahmud of Ghazni, the slaughter at the Temple of Somnath (Islam)

Mahmud of Ghazni faithfully followed the Qur'anic directive to kill the idolators wherever they could be found. Slaughter's 50,00 Hindus at the temple of Somnath.

35 Aztec Sacrifices (Aztec)
36 Pure Satanic Black Metal Bands (Satanism)

It's just a music genre what's the worst it can do? - XxembermasterxX

Metal isn't satanic - ElSherlock

There is no satanism in Black Metal, they have Satanic imagery and lyrics but the band members themselves are not satanists - SirSkeletorThe3rd

I just think it gives Metal an even more bad name.

37 Nic Diederichs Technical High School Slashing (Satanism)
38 Murder of David Gunn (Christianity)

David Gunn was a doctor who chose to do OB/GYN and abortion services in rural America.

He was murdered by anti-abortionist Michael F. Griffin whom The New York Times described him as "a fundamentalist Christian and a loner with a bad temper". Griffin originally claimed to be acting "for God"; his attorneys would later assert on his behalf that he had been "brainwashed" by another anti-abortion activist, John Burt.

This whole event inspired musician Marilyn Manson to write the song Get Your Gunn. Manson described Gunn's murder as "the ultimate hypocrisy I witnessed growing up: that these people killed someone in the name of being 'pro-life'."

39 Murder of John Britton (Christianity)
40 Massacre at Awatovi (Traditional Hopi Ceremonialism)
41 Macedonian VMRO Uprisings (Orthodox Christianity)

If they were catched they will suciede if you don't comit sucide they will kill you.VMRO belived in free Macedonia Ruled by revolutinist (all orthodox) comited a genocide agains Bulgarians in 1944-1948 some lands were taken by Bulgarians then after 3 years anti Bulgarian trials apered kiling almost all Bulgarians in nowodays Macedonia also in the Ilinden Uprising thet purged 21 turkish viliges they burned 12400 houses kiled 1400 pepole and make 30000 homles starved or fleed they uprising was leed by Dame Gruev a Macedonian revolutenists and at the end 300 of 1800 uprises comited sucied in other words all the survided and fleed all in the name of Orthdoxy

42 26/11/2008 (Islam)
43 Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting (Christianity)
44 David Berkowitz Murders (Satanism)

He believed that his neighbor's dog was possessed by the devil, which inspired him to commit the murders.

45 Crimes of Ricky Kasso (Satanism)
46 Heaven's Gate (cult)

This was a mass suicide but shows how easily people can be manipulated in a certain belief even when its irrational to others whe the it's a cult or an organized religion. This group believed in aliens. They believed "to be eligible for membership in the Next Level, humans would have to shed every attachment to the planet". This meant all members had to give up all human-like characteristics, such as their family, friends, sexuality, individuality, jobs, money, and possessions.
Their goal in this suicide was to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following Comet Hale�"Bopp. Between March 19�"20, 1997, members took phenobarbital mixed with apple sauce and washed down with vodka. Additionally, they secured plastic bags around their heads after ingesting the mix to induce asphyxiation. Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their own bunk beds, faces and torsos covered by a square, purple cloth. Each member carried a five-dollar bill and ...more

47 Murder of Faith Lovemore (Christianity)
48 Murder of Beryl Gilchrist (Christianity)
49 Murder of Jacob Andrew Crockett (Christianity)
50 Murder of Assad Shah (Islam)
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