According to a study conducted by the Center for Security Studies, religious violence has been rising from 1975 up to 2015. This shows the continuous threat of violent extremism by people committing atrocities for the sake of their religion. In line with this threat, different religious groups condemn violent extremism that justify religion as the basis of their wrongdoings. One of their bases of condemning extremists is by way of their teachings.


In Islam, the Holy Quran says, “But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.” (4:93) This is strengthened by another verse, “And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” (6:151) These are very clear messages that no one has the right to kill Muslims and non-Muslims for the sake of religion.


In relation to this, Christian’s biblical perspective about killings is anchored on Exodus 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill.” It is The Six Commandments in the Bible that is widely used as a biblical tool to condemn atrocities committed by Christians. Likewise, this biblical perspective is also in Judaism’s Torah or the Hebrew Bible.


In Hinduism, most Hindus believe in non-violence or “Ahimsa,” an ethical principle of not causing harm to other living things such as humans. This belief encourages Hindus to act with kindness and non-violence to all. One of the great examples of this was the peaceful and non-violent movement of Mahatma Gandhi during the British occupation in India. 


Moreover, Buddhism’s teaching of The Five Precepts is a code of conduct or rules that guides people in a moral and ethical way and to achieve enlightenment. The first of the five precepts is “Refrain from taking life.” This means that it is forbidden to kill any living creature such as people and animals. Buddhism’s teaching is mainly concentrated in peace and non-violent approach.


It is clearly stated that killing or harming people, believers or non-believers, has no place in all the world’s major religions. This will reinforce the fact that violent extremism is not a good way to persuade others or kill in the name of God or religion. This will also serve as an eye opener to every believer, church leaders, religious scholars, and religious groups to strongly condemn and speak up for the atrocities committed by those people who used religions to justify their wrong actions, particularly the terrorist groups.