Does religion cause wars?

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Critics often argue that religion causes wars and thus human suffering. But does history support this, or not?

I have been able to find several authoritative works on the topic, most by neutral historians, and they generally give similar answers.

  1. About 6-10% of all wars investigated have significant or predominantly religious causes.
  2. Religion was a factor in many wars, but the main causes have been differences in culture and greed for territory, resources or power.
  3. It turns out that in recent times atheistic political regimes have started more wars than has religion. Both religion and atheism have been used by authoritarian or aggressive governments to support wars.

    So we can say quite definitely that religion is NOT a major cause of wars (though any wars are too many!).