by Ron Kurtus (updated 22 December 2022)
Sectarian violence is when members of a religious sect attack and even kill members of a different sect within the same religion. As bizarre as it seems, there is animosity among believers in a religion against those who may have a slightly different view of that religion.
Most religions advocate peace and love of your fellow man. Many promote spreading the word and concepts of their religion, so that others can see the light. However, even within these so-called peaceful religions, there are those who feel it is right to kill people who do not share the same beliefs. Primary examples are within Christianity and Islam. Other religions seem to have minor problems.
Questions you may have include:
- What type sectarian violence is there in Christianity?
- What type sectarian violence is there in Islam?
- What type sectarian violence is there in other religions?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Note: This is an educational website. We are not promoting any one religion.
Killing within Christianity
In Europe during the 1600s there were violent wars between the Protestants and Catholics, where people of the other sect were actually burned at the stake. Part of the violence was more political than religious, although some clergy considered people of other religions as heretics.
In recent times, Northern Ireland provided much violence between Protestants and Catholics, leading to bombing churches of the other sect and killing its members. Although the clergy advocated following the Ten Commandments, some also seemed to encourage the violence.
Sectarian violence within Christians is rare these days.
Killing within Islam
For many years some advocates of the Sunni and Shiite Islam sects seem to have a hatred of each other to the point of bombing religious temples and killing innocent people of the other belief.
The major difference in the sects concerns whether descendants of Mohammed should lead the religion or they should be elected.
Although the Holy Quran forbids killing other Muslims, the violence goes on even today. The extremist Sunni ISIS group has been known to bomb markets frequently by Shiites.
Violence within other religions
In ancient times, followers of Judaism were known to attack and kill those who followed the religion in slightly different ways. In Israel today, there have been some violence from extremist groups.
As far as I know, there has been minor sectarian violence among Buddhist and Hindu groups..
Sectarian violence is when members of one sect within a religion will attack those of another sect. This has been seen in Christianity between Catholics and Protestants, in Islam, between Sunnis and Shiites, as well as in some other religions.
It seems bizarre that there is animosity among believers in a religion against those who may have a slightly different view of that religion. However, some religious leaders advocate such violence.
Religion is supposed to be about love and not hate
Resources and references
Sectarian violence among Christians
Sectarian violence among Muslims
(Notice: The School for Champions may earn commissions from book purchases)
Share this page
Click on a button to bookmark or share this page through Twitter, Facebook, email, or other services:
Students and researchers
The Web address of this page is:
Please include it as a link on your website or as a reference in your report, document, or thesis.
Where are you now?