A new survey has found that 47% of British adults believe that the world would be a more peaceful place without religion. The survey was commissioned by religion think tank Theos as part of a report on the link between religion and violence. While 61% of people think that the teachings of religions are essentially peaceful, 70% think that most of the wars in world history have been caused by religions. Nick Spencer, research director at Theos said he thinks the poll shows that the British public is confused and that the thought that the world would be better without religion isn’t realistic. He said “The answer to bad religion is not no religion, it’s good religion.”
It’s incumbent on people who do call themselves religious to engage seriously with their text and with those people who might want to use their text to legitimise violence.” Spencer added that it’s true that both of the holy books can be seen as legitimising violence, but If you read them within the wider cannon of the scriptures, they needn’t and shouldn’t legitimise violence.” Spencer said some people who “have political or ethnic or economic grievances” have hijacked their religious belief to justify their resistance and violence.
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