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BELIEVERS MUST SET ASIDE COMPETITION AMONG RELIGIONS

by Joanna Manning

Ever since the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre, I have been haunted by the religious overtones of the tragedy, and the way it has highlighted the continuing influence of religion as one factor fueling today’s global conflicts.

     Even as Islamic fundamentalists were hijacking U.S. planes in pursuit of their deadly mission, Christians and Muslims were killing each other in the town of Jos in northern Nigeria. A few days prior to September 11, Protestants in Belfast attacked Catholic children who were on their way to school. Orthodox Jewish invasions into Palestinian settlements have provoked another round of the intifada. And here in Canada, Christian churches are being called to account for their role in the residential schools that were part of the colonization and forcible conversion of native peoples.

     Countless times in the past - and I’m talking millennia rather than centuries - adherents of the three main western religions have massacred unbelievers and each another in the name of God. Can the horrible events of
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