Before societies matured enough to have imperialistic ambitions religious belief and politics were entirely local. Differences between religious thought and governing principles were confined to micro-geographic areas.
Over its first ten millennia of human history thousands of different religious sects formed, flourished for long or short periods then either disappeared, merged with others or morphed into the handful of major religions that exist today.
Modern man is faced now with a world so interconnected and increasingly crowded that the role these major religions – Islam, Christianity, Hindu, and Judaism – is being re-examined. The history of the recently closed 20th Century is replete with wars, riots, and massacres ignited by religious differences, rivalries and hatreds. At the very dawn of the 21st Century Islamic zealots declared a terrorist war against the Judeo/Christian west, which responded with military attacks against a number of Islamic countries.
This article, as it evolves, will explore the benefits and dangers inherent in the relationship of religion and politics on both the national and international levels.