Varieties of Violence by: Hossein Mir Mohammad Sadeghi

Document Type : Original Article


Violence is a primordial phenomenon dating back to the time when Adam and his sons resided on the Earth. As in all former eras, the twenty first century also is the eye witness of the bitter consequences of the dark side of mankind. So, globally, violence takes thousands of lives every year and the number is increasing annually due both to unequalled mixture of people of all faiths in many parts of the world and unprecedented level of free expression of either religious or secular perspectives on every aspects of life which naturally results in bare widespread violence. Various forms of violence have been recognized as violation of human rights embodied in international and regional treaties as well as in national laws and constitutions. In the present article, the diverse classifications of violence including spiritual violence are discussed, while religious violence, where religion is either the subject or object of violent behaviour, is analysed in more depth. In the concluding part of the article, while it is admitted that certain aspects of religions might be misused to support violence, it is asserted that a genuine interpretation of all Abrahamic religions' core elements would not authorize human violence and every main religion of the world has expressed kind of commitment to the value of peace: “Thou shalt not kill” is in the essence of all monotheism faiths, certainly the three based upon Abraham and God. The concluding remarks of the author in this article is that, as violence is nowadays resorted to in the name of religions and religious leaders, it should, in turn, be fought by religious leaders emphasizing on peace, forgiveness and compassion, as the key elements in all religions.