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Hatred creates war. So the real thing to be analyzed here is what creates hatred.
Simply, hatred occurs for a number of reasons which could include jealousy, settling old scores, or simple misdirected anger. However, all of hatred comes from a difference between two groups of people, and that difference creating anger from one or both sides towards the other.
Religion happens to be a very devicive issue. The monotheistic religions (religions that believe in one god, the big three are Christianity, Islam, and Judiasim(sp)) all preach that they are the chosen people, and that the only way to reach some sort of eternal paradise is to subscribe to that particular religion. This creates a paradox, as all three claim that they are the one true way. Naturally, the more devout and passionate sects of all three religions turn to violence to enforce or effect their ideology on others. This is as old as the land squabbles recounted in the Bible or the Crusades and as recent as the "war on terror."
As a Lutheran, a denomination of Christianity, I see God as a way to positively effect change in the world. I will be the last, the very last, person to force anyone to believe anything, but the work that the Christian church has accomplished with the homeless, hungry, and poor of the United States and the world at large gives me faith. I state this to show that religion can be a force for good in the world, not a cause to take up arms.
Hatred, and its progeny, War, are the cause of people seeing differences and angrily wanting a change. The world would be a lot better place if we could work out or leave alone others differences without resorting to killing to change others. Religion can be a component, but I cannot believe that the purpose of religion is to cause conflict because to me it solves conflict.