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Traumatization in the Name of Religion

Religion has historically been used as a cause of, or excuse for, specific actions that cause trauma to individuals and populations. Some of the most horrific individual and group actions have been incited by religion, or religious culture. Additionally, leaders of organized religions and cultural leaders have bent religion to their causes in interpreting, or reinterpreting, natural and human-made events to support their causes, raising fear, inflicting pain, and inhibiting spiritual healing.

Religion does not cause trauma, but with the power of both the here and the hereafter, it is one of the most influential tools for both emotional healing and harm. The claim that “God is on our side” and that the other side is “evil” is pervasive. Even when religion is not named as ...

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