Christianity and Religion Have Caused More Deaths Than Anything Else in History
Whenever I am evangelizing to non-Christians, one objection comes up that seems to be a barrier for them to hearing the Gospel. They seem to think that it’s hypocritical for Christians to talk about the love of Christ when Christians have done so much killing. Some of them even think that Christians are the most murderous of the religions. I figured I should do some research to actually have an answer in apologetics.
Yes, man has used religion for political gain. Nazi Germany had "God with us" engraved in German on the belts of Nazi soldiers. Americans have said, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."
Jesus even tells us in John 16:2-3 that there will be some who, in their error, commit atrocities and murder in the name of God: "the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God." However, He informs us that these are not true believers: "And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me."
Jesus did tell His followers to love their enemies. So if a man kills another man in the name of Christianity (or any other religion), something obviously isn’t right. If WE can detect it, don’t you think that God can? Don’t forget that He will deal with that on Judgment Day.
So, we can all agree that killing in the name of religion isn’t a good thing. And now the obligatory, “Exactly, and Christians have killed more than any other religion.”
The main argument blaming those murderous Christians is based on the deaths of those in the Crusades and the Inquisition. I actually added another situation that can be used as well.
Deaths Caused by Christians:
1562-1598 – French Wars of Religion – France – 4 million
1095-1291 – Crusades to the Holy Land – Middle East, Spain, Africa – 1.5 million (This does include all sides of the conflict)
1184-c. 1860 – Various Christian Inquisitions – Europe – 17,500
We’ll round this up (for the sake of liberals) and say 6 million deaths caused by Christians. And that IS a bunch! 6 million is way too many!
Now, here is something that even shocked me! I had assumed that the tolls were fairly even.
Deaths caused by non-Christians:
184-205 – Yellow Scarves Rebellion (Taoists) – China – 7 million
1300s-1521 – Human Sacrifices (Aztecs) – Mexico – 1 million
1855-1877 – Panthay Rebellion (Muslims) – China – 12 million
1932-1933 – Holodomor (communist atheists) – Ukraine – 10 million
1941-1945 – Nazi Genocides (statist atheists) – Germany – 11 million
1959-1962 – Great Leap Forward famine (communist atheists) – China – 43 million
1971 – Bangladesh Atrocities (Islamists) – East Pakistan – 3 million
1975-1979 – Khmer Rouge Repression (communist atheists) – Cambodia – 3 million
September 11, 2007 – Terrorist attacks (Muslim Jihadists) – USA – 5,000
The deaths caused by non-Christians – approximately 90 MILLION! And this is actually a conservative number.
In other words, even if you could attribute deaths to Christians, which we established at the beginning of this piece is not really the case, they are only responsible for 1/15 the deaths as non-Christians.
Don’t let this issue be one that keeps you from the salvation offered through Jesus Christ. Because the actual number of murderers in this world today comes closer to the whole population of 6 BILLION when you understand that God’s standard of murder is much, much higher!
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. – Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. – 1 John 3:15
It’s not just the physical act of taking someone’s life that is murder. It’s the actions based on what is in the heart that God sees.
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur...” – Revelation 21:8
The justice we all deserve is hell. But God provided a way for us to not go to hell. Jesus, God as man in the flesh, lived a perfect life and was punished, tortured and hung on a cross for crimes He did not commit. He took the punishment upon Himself and paid the price for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to.
If you have not done so, repent (turn away from) your sins, ask forgiveness of God for those sins and be specific. Receive the gift that God gave through Christ on the Cross and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16