Editorial: Religion and World Peace

by Dr Allah Bakhsh

The Light (Pakistan), 24th January 1983 Issue (Vol. 63, No. 2, pp. 3–4)

Sixty Churchmen from twenty-two countries assembled recently in New Delhi at an international peace Con­ference. These Christian leaders turned their spotlight on to the life and death issue in which the poor nations of the third underdeveloped world were involv­ed. The Conference called upon the Super­powers to halve their spending on mili­tary expenditure and to improve their relationships. They urged churches throughout the world to awaken to the need to contribute to world public opi­nion and build up the moral mind of humanity against the demonical forces of nuclear menace. Their central theme was global peace. One of them said that fifty per cent of the population of India lived below the poverty line, while its Government was busily pursuing in rais­ing its military budget and accelerating its nuclear proliferation weaponry.

Apart from the wholesale ravaging effects of an actual nuclear war, the world especially of the under-developed count­ries is suffering seriously from the dest­ructive effects of diseases, under-nourishment, ignorance and misery, its main economic depression being caused by war preparation.

Another result of threatened nuclear war is the horror of such a cataclysm on the minds of the people. There is a growing concern among the population in Britain and the Western Europe who have demanded reduction in nuclear weapon­ry unilaterally. But their opponents dub these movements as signs of weakness which is not at all conducive to negotia­tion for peace. At the end of the Chris­tian Conference, the President of India is reported to have remarked that reli­gions so often misused should be “a force for the unity and harmony of mankind. This would happen if the way of the great founders of the faiths were followed.” However, it is most tragic, but nonetheless true, that faith is often not lived up to but only believed through lip-profession and is merely preached.

The teachings of Jesus can be summed up easily as being against worldliness and force of might. They are replete with the spirit of humility and humanity. But those who claim to follow him, amass wealth and might of arms and trample the rights of the poor.

God is not the Lord of any particular nation or people, whatever their labels. He is perfectly a just and equitable Being for all. He rewards individuals and nations according to their actions and not accor­ding to their professions and beliefs. The Holy Quran is categorical on this point. It says:

“It will not be according to your vain desires, nor the vain desires of the people of the Book. Whosoever does evil, will be requited for it and will not find for himself besides Allah a friend or a helper” (4:123).

But while there is no one who does not believe in its truth in the world of matter, in the world of faith this Divine law is mostly neglected. There is a common misunderstanding that in faith, only the beliefs and ceremonies count and not the deeds and actions. We all believe in a God of All Might and Power but when performing our worldly affairs, we put all our trust and reliance on our own powers and re­sources, to the total neglect of any moral or spiritual values. While the Christian nations aver belief in God, and edify Christ who gave up his life on the cross for the sake of saving humanity from death and damnation yet they feel no hesitation in sacrificing the human interest and well-being for the fulfilment of their own selfish ends!

It is high time that religious leaders of Judaism, Christianity and Islam should display the true spirit of love, for­giveness and welfare for humanity. They should put up their concerted efforts for the spiritual upliftment and survival of mankind from the menacing nuclear death which is very much looming large on the horizon.