Is it fair to call Christianity a Terrorist Religion? My Views

I’m an atheist. And I know that posing a question like this is simply an exercise in subjective judgement (I haven’t seen any scientific criteria for what constitutes “terrorism”). But I don’t understand why we shouldn’t acknowledge that inflicting certain myths on children is terrorist behavior. When I was a child my sister took me to a local conservative Christian church, which I then attended on my own for a few years. Of course such churches speak endlessly of “God’s love,” all while also threatening children and adults with eternal damnation in a lake of fire if they don’t accept Christ. At the time, of course, I had no meaningful education in history or science, and was unaware that the myth of judgement and punishment after death was a widely held belief in ancient Greece for hundreds of years before the Hellenes infected other places with this fearful silliness, including Palestine. It not only spread around the Mediterranean but seems to have passed through the Greek kingdoms that existed in northwest India to infect Buddhism! The Japanese Zen master Hakuin (1686-1769) spoke of how this myth terrorized him as a child. I’m not saying the belief started in Greece, just that Greece was a vast repository for this nonsense. Plato and other Greeks spoke about it at length. The Greek philosopher and sceptic Epicurus, who was falsely accused of hedonistic behavior by Christianity, derided this myth as one of the main causes of human suffering (about 300 years before Christ). For my part, I think that this myth, when perpetrated against children in particular, is tantamount to terrorism. It traumatizes children and gullible adults and can be an almost pathological obstacle to understanding and accepting science, rationalism, and the appropriate use of scepticism. The latter is sorely lacking amongst the gullible on the Internet and causes immense damage. There are, I suppose, wonderful Christians. Jimmy Carter comes to mind. But the whole hell and damnation thing is terrorist nonsense which has filled churches and collection plates for centuries, enriched and/or lionized foolish charlatans, and now seems to be a factor driving the new Christian right along with their other myth of the Second Coming. The attack on Congress was perpetrated by many who are driven by this belief. So I ask, Is it fair to call Christianity a terrorist religion? If not, is it simply to avoid offending people?

P.S. I spell the word sceptic in this way in honor of the late scholar Richard H. Popkin, whose landmark works on the history of scepticism adhered to this spelling.

1 Like

Uh, you will find that in most English speaking domains that it is spelt that way. Especially the original one.

The incalculated fear of divine punishment and divine reward can be more accurately described as child abuse. No problem with the definition, no problem with the prescribed remedies…except the courts do not recognise it as abuse. That is the problem.


Oh fuck! I hope that was tongue in cheek.

I think your taking the long way around.

  1. Who created hell - (GOD)
  2. Why do people go to hell. (For not doing exactly as god says. Whatever dogma your church asserts that is.)
  3. What is hell? (Eternal punishment.)
  4. Christianity is a terrorist religion of do as I say or suffer forever.

It’s very simple.


Well firstly terrorism is defined as unlawful, so whilst I’d prefer this didn’t happen, I’m not sure it qualifies as terorrism.

Yes, that does seem a more accurate description to me than terrorism.

Again this is true on both counts. Professor Richard Dawkins was once asked if he was raising his daughter to be an atheist, and he said he would rather teach her facts, and let her grow into an adult and then decide for herself, he then said sadly that there are others who have no such scruples where small children are concerned. the good news is that while children are a lot easier to indoctrinate, they also often see through BS pretty quickly when they are armed with facts.

My brother-in-law was a primary school teacher, and had to sit by while a visiting theist took his class of 6 to 7 year olds for religious education. While he was mortified at the prospect, he was gratified to see little heads turn to look at him with dubious raised eyebrows at the outlandish creation myth and claims for magic were being espoused.

After the class he made it clear he didn’t personally believe in a deity, and that it was very much a personal choice. Many of the children told him plainly they found the claims dubious, and that they knew about evolution already. You combat bad ideas with better ones, and scientific ideas have explanatory powers, whereas goddidit does not, children’s insatiable desire for answers will often pick up on such things if they are given the chance.


Yep, that’s why some are in favor of book bans…restrict chances or choices so they will accept the nonsense with no counter. This is also why there has been such a determined attitude towards indoctrination of the very young.
We raised our two children with facts, no religion. When my daughter went to church with a friend, as a young teen, her comment when she came home was “that was just stupid”… Both her and her brother are respectful and considerate of those with god beliefs, to most every extent possible, but neither accept such as reasonable or rational for themselves and they are now forty-four and forty-two respectively.

1 Like

The question of whether it is fair to label Christianity as a terrorist religion is subjective and highly debatable. Terrorism typically refers to the use of violence, intimidation, or coercion for political, ideological, or religious purposes. While certain individuals or groups throughout history have committed acts of violence in the name of Christianity, it is important to note that their actions do not represent the entirety of the religion or its followers.

Christianity, like any other major religion, encompasses a wide range of beliefs, interpretations, and practices. It has a diverse following with millions of adherents worldwide who hold various theological and doctrinal views. Many Christians promote peace, love, and compassion as central tenets of their faith, and they contribute positively to their communities and the world.

It is crucial to distinguish between the actions of individuals or specific groups and the core teachings of a religion. While some interpretations of Christianity may emphasize notions of judgment and punishment, it is not accurate to label the entire religion as terrorist based on those interpretations alone. It is important to engage in respectful dialogue and recognize the diversity within religious communities.

Criticism of certain aspects or interpretations of religious beliefs is a valid part of public discourse and intellectual exchange. However, it is also important to approach such discussions with an understanding of nuance, recognizing that not all individuals within a religion hold the same beliefs or engage in harmful actions.

Ultimately, the question of whether to label any religion as “terrorist” is complex and multifaceted, and it is up to individuals to form their own opinions based on their understanding and experiences.

Well I think it would be willful ignorance to deny the terroristic policies of historical Christian organizations such as the Catholic Church. Personally I would view the various Inquisitions as rather terroristic, although they pale in comparison to the treatment of various indigenous populations, ostensibly to save their heathen souls.
The indoctrination I was subjected to certainly filled me with a great fear of the terror that would be meted out on me if I rejected god.
This of course was exaggerated when I was told when my father died that god had taken him. I was six years old and terror is quite different for a child than an adult.
For me the label is not as important as the identification and examination of the policies and practices, both historically as well as currently. If calling Christianity a terror organization focuses attention on reprehensible treatment and practices, then so be it.

1 Like

Here is the UK the vapid idiocy of creationism is a lot harder to peddle in the national curriculum, though it does happen in some faith schools, and was a shameful betrayal of a longstanding promise by the Labour party never to have state funded faith schools. I feel genuinely sorry for children whose education is blighted by such superstitious lies and propaganda.

That’s the best we can hope for in many cases, to teach children facts and keep indoctrination away from them long enough for them to become mature enough to decide for themselves.

These are helpful and well considered comments. I prefaced this by saying that this is a subjective judgement. I don’t expect agreement on such a definition. But from the broadest perspective, which I imagine many atheists appreciate, the aptly defined terrorist behaviors of slavery, forced conversion through torture, genocide, and similar acts that did not simply occur, but comprised, the Crusades, various imperial and colonial conquests, internecine Christian conflict, the inquisition etc certainly can qualify, in my view, as terrorist in nature. Whether most Christians now abhor this history seems beside the point. Evangelical and other varied fanatical devotion to Christian beliefs logically lead to terrorism which we can see on our TVs. Inflicting this ideology on children is but one facet of the broad spectrum of crimes arising from Christian and more broadly religious beliefs and are clearly on display for anyone willing to study history. I deeply appreciate parents who raise their children without religious instruction. But I have seen children raised in such homes, well educated in the humanities, fall victim to religious nonsense. So I’m personally in favor of a more forward leaning stance against religious beliefs than that expressed by Richard Dawkins.

The most talked about of the Inquisitions was the Spanish one. Although the Catholic Church (the only xtian game in town at the time) developed and supported Inquisitions as a way to ferret out heretics, Ferdinand and Isabella of the newly united Spain used it as a political tool to establish absolute power. They also used it to rid their new kingdom of Moors and Jews. These rulers were brutal. Even the pope at the time tried to get them to chill out because he thought their use of Inquisition was over the top. He did not succeed.
This example demonstrates that governments/people frequently use religion as a tool to get and hold power.
So, the question becomes, is it religion that is terrorist, or is it people using religion to commit terror?
Perhaps religion can be viewed as merely a tool…one that can be particularly effective when in the hands of the unscrupulous.

1 Like

While I view this is an interesting question, for the victims it is a distinction without a difference.
I would posit that whatever it is that brutal inhumane people use to exert power and control over others can certainly be labeled in a variety of ways, but the effect is unaltered by the name so given.
To answer your question, (IMO) it is always people using religion or whatever “tool” they choose to commit terror. When the tool you use is one with no demonstrable adherence to reality, justifications for repugnant behavior are easy to fabricate.
I view the treatment of indigenous populations as to dwarf the totality of the inquisitions, especially in magnitude. However, the inquisitions certainly did serve the political expediency you indicated, while terrorizing the populace into compliance.

I don’t disagree…I too have seen such. Due to the facts of the impossibility of providing a complete, all-inclusive description and summary of the environment we provided for our children, let it suffice to say that I was more than a little “forward leaning” in my approach. That said, I made an honest attempt to allow them to develop psychologically without undue fear or apprehension/trepidation, and acquire the discernment and discretion that would afford them the opportunity to decide for themselves.

HUH? That is the evidence for terrorism? What do you mean ‘distinguish between?’

Of course not. That’s exactly why we look at the actions of individuals, specific groups, and core teachings. (Your not actually making sense here.)

And again… That’s why we look at …; (Repeat the comments I made from above.)

I agree with all you have said. It likely makes no difference to the victims. It does, however, seem to me to make a rather large difference for those working to stop it.

1 Like

When I was a child, the word terrorist summoned images of Catholic terrorists in Ireland. When my father was young, it was Buddhists. When my grandfather was young it was Jews. Now it is Muslims.

Don’t worry, it will be Christians again soon enough.

Yes I can see that. Without acknowledging individual responsibilities as opposed to institutional ones, passing the buck becomes much easier…”I was just following orders”…”it was the policy at the time”…”I was not in charge” “things were different then” “you had to have been there”…and so on ad nauseam.
That identification of responsibility is purposely obfuscated to benefit those with the most to lose if indeed a proper rehabilitation of societal systems was forthcoming.
I see this as part of the opposition to the recognition of “institutional racism”. If the actual “policy significance” is identified along with individual culpability, then real change might be possible, rather than just a change of personnel to appease.
When you have the collusion between individuals and organizations to victimize (i.e. priests and Catholic hierarchy) the necessity of identifying and assigning responsibility takes on a higher level of significance.

Oh well I think there are far more things to use as a basis than just “emphasized notions”.
I sense a common error here, that the identification is solely up to the observer with an exclusion of the victim’s’ perspectives.
When offenses are committed, the loudest voice must be that of the victims.
While you acknowledge that

You are quick to dismiss any notion of systemic culpability.

Does it have to rise to the level of entirety before before responsibility can be assigned?
What percentage is acceptable?

It is always important to attempt to maintain respectful dialog. Reciprocity is also important.
Exercising a manufactured respect for a corrupt organization does nothing but maintain the status quo.

(Attempting to maintain a respectful dialog here) Uh, I think captain obvious just showed up…🫤

Characterising a religion as being “terrorist” in nature is problematic, because terrorism tends to be subjective. The old aphorism about one person’s terrorist being another person’s freedom fighter springs to mind at this juncture, but like all such aphorisms, requires care in its deployment.

However, one objective fact we can call upon, is that the Abrahamic religions have associated with them, a history of violence and repression. Which should come as no surprise to anyone who realises that the real central tenet thereof can be summarised as “kill all who do not conform”. It will not take the diligent long to find exhortations to this effect in the requisite mythologies. In the case of the Old Testament, I point to Exodus 22:20, Exodus 23:24, Deuteronomy 7:5, Deuteronomy 13: 6-10, Deuteronomy 13: 12-15,Deuteronomy 17:2-5, 2 Chronicles 15:13 and Jeremiah 12: 1-3. These were the passages that presented as a purported “virtue”, ruthless enforcement of conformity to doctrine. In the case of the Qu’ran, this is positively littered with exhortations to exterminate those outside the doctrinal pale, and again, the diligent won’t have to exert much effort to alight upon the requisite passages.

Hardly surprising, then, that these verses were seized upon gleefully by past mythology fanboys, as they unleashed such horrors as the Inquisition. The “othering” of those outside the doctrinal pale has always been a useful tool for political control, though the various authors of the aforementioned examples almost certainly had no idea of the genie that they were releasing from the bottle, so to speak. Those verses have a lurid history as being a pretext not only for such obscenities as the burning of Giordano Bruno at the stake (whose hypothesis about other star systems was demonstrated to be essentially correct by modern astrophysicists), but for the rise of sectarianism, and ther resulting violent clashes between different cabals of mythology fanboys, even when the rival factions claimed to believe in the same magic man.

Although it was only later, with the advent of political ideologies, that the doctrine of historical neccessity became explicitly defined, another issue centres upon the manner in which the Abrahamic religions have an apocalyptic, necrodestination view of history, one that the followers thereof are openly exhorted to convert from assertion to dangerous reality.

Consequently, the rigorous view to take, is that these religions contain venomous exhortations to violence and repression, that are all too readily used as pretexts by the homicidally duplicitous. Such individuals of course will choose other pretexts according to taste if these are available, but the Abrahamic religions contain within their corpus of assertions, especially hazardous instances thereof. Consequently, diligent monitoring of said pretexts being deployed is strongly advised.

In the largest English speaking domain (the United States), however, it’s spelled skeptic.

There are far, far more English speakers when combined, however, in the rest of the world. India alone, for example is a very close second to the U.S.