Top 10 Biggest 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 Jihads (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.

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.

To say Hitler was a Christian and then pin all the deaths caused by the Nazis on Christianity is laughable. Christianity as a creed does not set out to kill non believers. Islam on the other hand? Well, the evidence e speak for itself. This top ten simply shows how gullible people are.

Christianity and Islam are the only religions on this earth that has and still causing atrocities to humanity. Both preach peace, hold their religious text in one hand and a weapon in the other hand the rest do not have a chance because none practice such terrorism like these two cultures

2 The Crusades (Christianity)

Ok where do I start. Number one the Crusades were not just about religious dominance. While that was a major factor, you have to take into account land and the trade routes. Second, what if I told you The Crusades was a reaction? Oh yes, decades before, the Muslims attempted to take over the world. Does that justify the Crusades? No, but just make sure you understand the full story. Thirdly, it was the Catholics that did these Crusades. Remember Christians separated from them a long time ago. And lastly, I dislike this list very much. It is most definitely a Christian hate list. 85% of the items are Christian. You cannot judge a religion based on a minority committing a atrocity. Also just because a group affiliated with a certain religion commits an atrocity, that does not mean it was committed in the name of that religion. It also does not mean the people in that religion support the action.

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.

I'd point out that the crusades were committed in the name of Christianity, the crusaders most certainly did want to butcher the people they invaded because they thought they weren't Christians, most of them weren't but in western turkey a lot were. This point should not be contended because it is true, at least in part. But some also did so because they desired absolution, and so committed atrocities so they could gain forgiveness for minor transgressions. And who said that they would get absolution, who promised them that if they reconquered Jerusalem they would gain forgiveness forevermore, the pope. The leader of the Catholic Church, the man that even to this day is the religious leader of more than 1 billion people. The pope of that time promised them that if they committed unspeakable atrocities, they would be forgiven for those and more.

The Crusades were a series of conquests undertaken by various Christian groups ranging from 1095 AD to 1453 AD. Though the numbers aren't conclusive there were an estimated 1 to 3 million deaths from these campaigns. While some historians see the Crusades as a defensive action against Islamic conquest, most see them as a papal-led expansion attempt by Western Christendom.

3 Muslim Conquests 622-1924 (Islam)

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.

From Muhammad all the way to the collapse of the Ottaman Empire after World War I. From the mass killings of Hindus to the Armenian Genocide; Muslims systematically killed millions upon millions.

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

Killing and enslaving people in mass.

4 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...

5 9/11 (Islam)

Approximately 3,000 people died, a national landmark was destroyed, and the entire country was sent into a state of absolute fear.
One of the biggest tragedies in American history.

Um, "satanism" as most people know it to be has nothing to do with worshiping the devil. If you're going to spout nonsense at least know a little about what you're referring to. 9/11 had nothing to do with religion of any kind.

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

Should be much, much higher.

6 Mistreatment of Women (Islam)

They are mistreated in all possible ways..

7 Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus (Islam)

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!

Islam itself is a bloody terrorism.

8 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.

Historians actually say The Inquisition is highly overdramatized.

9 Thuggee Murders (Muslim)

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.

10 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.

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

Makes me so sad and sick. Some sects of Christianity still have to pay back millions of dollars to these poor, traumatized people, and they still don't! :(

The Contenders
11 Beheading of Journalists (Islam)

It was just banter

12 The Holocaust (Christianity)

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 used Christianity as a tool to get the German people on side and engage with mass torture and murder. For Hitler, he was not committing these acts in the name of Christianity, it was a political move to convince the people that he was. Nazi soldiers WERE committing these acts in the name of the religion. Regardless of Hitler's motives, The holocaust happened because of Christianity.

Hitler saw religion, specifically Christianity as a temporary ally, an organizational power worth leveraging. At first he used that to his advantage but later on found them a threat to his own power and became more and more hostile toward churches. The holocaust had NOTHING to do with religion and everything to do with the Nazi mission to 'promote' and 'perfect' the Aryan race. Read a book people. Seriously.

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

13 The Ku Klux Klan Murders (Christianity)

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.

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?

Someone mentioned the bible mentions though shalt not kill as an argument that the KKK isn't a Christian group. That's not even a logical argument considering everything in the past Christians have done. Regardless of that, the bible also says "Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head." (Leviticus 20:9)

The KKK is very much a Christian based religion.
h ttps:// en.w ikipedia .org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan

"The second and third incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made frequent references to America's "Anglo-Saxon" blood, hearkening back to 19th-century nativism. Although members of the KKK swear to uphold Christian morality, virtually every Christian denomination has officially denounced the KKK."

Politically establishing power through atrocities fear and hatred.

Setting a structure of moral policing and how a religion works, so for people who think they are maniacs and are not Christians, when it comes to religion, its not what it ought to be that's gone.. it is what it is, what we perceive of it and that is KLU KLUX KLAN is essentially a Christian approach.

( oh well if atheists are going to hell as per the bible, that's moral thing to say? even though we know its utter idiocy)

14 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?

15 Witch Hunts & Wiccan Murders (Christianity)

"Millions"? Check your facts. In the US witch trials there was a grand total of... Drum roll please... 35 executions. The European witch hunts were far worse, but we're talking 300,000 over about 300 years. Both were tragedies and gross distortions of Christianity, it wasn't millions. (and before someone calls "bull what about Deuteronomy", the laws laid out there were specific to the nation of Israel who was to set itself apart from the world and was specifically directed to those living among them. If you were to live among them you were to follow their God or get out. Learn some Biblical history and read the whole thing for once)

One of those killed (because the Catholic leaders assumed that she was a witch) was Saint Joan of Arc (burned at the stake at May 30, 1431). Her final words were "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus". She is now a saint of the Catholic church.

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.

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

16 Biblical Endorsement to Mistreat Homosexuals (Christianity)

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.

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.

Uh, that's OLD testament, so find some Jews to annoy.
By the way; they rejected such belief long ago.

17 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.

18 Boston Marathon Bombings (Islam)

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.

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.

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

19 30 Years' War (Christianity)

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.

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.

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

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!

How is this pro-life?

21 Satanic Sacrifices (Satanism)

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

22 India and Pakistan Partition (Hindu & Muslims) 1947
23 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.

24 2009 Fort Hood Shooting (Islam)
25 7/7/2005 (Islam)
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