Religions, Global Gods and Peace Propagation: An Overview of Multiple, Human Behavioral Orders


Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

Please note that this publication contains graphic images which may be disturbing to some readers.  Reader discretion is advised. Parental guidance is recommended for minors, who may use this publication as a project, resource material.


“Human behaviour, from the time of evolution, is influenced and governed by some overarching tenets of a religious belief. This belief is in the unseen, unsubstantiated and not understood, force of a superior kind.  This force is called by different didactic terminologies, ultimately leading to the creation of global Gods.  Some humans even use Lucifer as a such a force and the atheist, while not calling this force God, still believe in this operative force, in their daily lives. This force is institutionalised as a religious belief which humans, some fanatically subscribe to, resulting in an enormous Peace Disruption.”[1]

The Last Judgment, Il Giudizio Universale, is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo covering the whole altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. It is a depiction of the Second Coming of Christ and the final and eternal judgment by God of all humanity. The copy by Marcello Venusti added the dove of the Holy Spirit above Christ, perhaps in response to Gilio’s complaint that Michelangelo should have shown all the Trinity.
1549 copy of the still unretouched mural by Marcello Venusti (Museo di Capodimonte, Naples)

 This paper, examines the complex interactions between humanity in general, religions, Gods, Deities and human behavioural order or disorder. in relation to Peace Propagation.  The publication also correlates these aspects with regional and global Peace Disruptions, as documented from antiquity to the present tumultuous era of the 21st century, characterised by

profound global belligerence.  The author analyses each component of this equation with multiple and sensitive variables, generated by the respective regimes and societal opinions as well as sentiments.  These may be invariably biased and prejudiced, These outcomes and endpoints are determined by the upbringing, of a miscreant human, cultural and religious prejudices, pursuit of materialism and financial gains, radicalisation of children and youth, remembering that “Monsters Breed Monsters” [2], systemic ethno phobia and racism, as well as religio-phobia of varying types.  Albeit, the most important, is the aspect of consensus conformity in order to be seen to subscribe to “The System” as the current operating system, in any particular community, experiencing turmoil.  Let us examine each component, independently:

On Religions, Gods, No Gods and Luciferainism[3]

Human Behaviour and Religious Beliefs [4]                                                                   

From the time of evolution, human behaviour has been influenced by religious beliefs. Our experiences, environment, and even genetics form our beliefs and attitudes. These beliefs, in turn, influence our behaviour and determine our actions.  It is to be noted that beliefs that are widely accepted become part of our culture and shape the society we live in. It determines all our social actions during the mortal lives of all hmans.

Belief in the Unseen, Unsubstantiated, and Not Understood Force: Many religious beliefs involve faith in a higher power or force that is unseen and often not fully understood3. This force is often considered superior and is not only believed to have control over the universe and our lives, but there is a firm conviction of this philosophy and nothing can change this deeply ingrained ideology.

Creation and Acknowledgement of Global, Religious Gods: [5]Different cultures and religions have their own names and interpretations for this superior force, leading to the creation of various gods.  For example, in Greek mythology, gods were created to explain natural phenomena and human emotions. These deities were assigned specific genders and tasks, such as medicine, love, war and in charge of different domains, such as the sea, hell and material prosperity.

Lucifer as a Force: Some individuals interpret Lucifer, traditionally seen as a symbol of evil or rebellion in many religions, as a force in their belief system6. Luciferianism, for example, views Lucifer not as an evil figure, but as a bearer of light, symbolizing enlightenment and knowledge7.

Atheist Belief in an Operative Force[6]: While atheists typically reject the concept of a God or gods, some may still believe in an operative force in their daily lives. This could be a belief in the laws of nature, the power of the universe, or the human will8.

Institutionalization of Religious Belief: Religious beliefs often become institutionalised, forming organized religions with established doctrines, rituals, and social structures. These institutions play a significant role in shaping societal norms and behaviours. Unfortunately, fanatical adherence to religious beliefs can sometimes lead to conflict and disrupt peace. This can occur when individuals or groups use their beliefs to justify intolerance, violence, or oppression.

National Religious fervour and biased Propaganda:  It is important to note that while religion and belief systems can influence human behaviour and societal structures, they are just one of multiple factors. Individual experiences, societal norms, and personal values also play a crucial role. Furthermore, personal interpretations of religious beliefs can vary widely among individuals, even within the same religious tradition, based on scriptural narratives ad lead to catastrophic outcomes in a community.

What is Religion?[7]

Religion is a system of beliefs, practices, and ethics that generally involves the worship of a supernatural or divine force or forces. It typically includes the following elements:

  1. Belief in a higher power or powers (e.g., God, gods, or a spiritual force)
  2. A set of teachings, narratives, or scriptures that explain the meaning of life, the universe, and the nature of the divine
  3. Rituals, ceremonies, or practices associated with the worship or veneration of the divine
  4. A moral or ethical code that guides behaviour and values
  5. A community or organisation of believers who share the same religious beliefs and practices

Religions often provide explanations for the origins of the universe, the purpose of human existence, and what happens after death. They often have sacred texts, symbols, and places of worship. Many religions also have a hierarchical structure, with religious leaders or authorities guiding the faithful.  Religions can be classified into four categories:

  1. Abrahamic Faiths Based on the Archetype, Patriarch Prophet Abraham. These are monotheistic religions, collectively
  2. Non-Abrahamic Faiths: These are polytheistic religions
  3. Traditional Religions mostly observed in Indigenous people, globally
  4. Luciferous Beliefs example “The Church of Satan”[8] founded in the United States, representing the principles of the fallen Arch angel.

Some major world religions include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Sikhism, among others. Religion has played a significant role in shaping human cultures, societies, and histories throughout the world.

What are Traditional Religions?[9]

Traditional religions refer to the indigenous or ethnic religious beliefs and practices of a particular culture or community, often predating the major organized world religions. Some key characteristics of traditional religions include:

  1. Oral traditions: Many traditional religions have relied on oral narratives, myths, and teachings passed down from generation to generation, rather than written sacred texts.
  2. Animism: A belief that all things, including animals, plants, rocks, and natural phenomena, possess a spiritual essence or soul.
  3. Ancestor veneration: The belief in and ritual practices involving the spirits of deceased ancestors, who are believed to have a continued presence and influence over the living.
  4. Nature worship: A reverence for and spiritual connection to elements of nature, such as the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, or animals.
  5. Totemism: The belief in a spiritual or symbolic connection between a particular group or clan and a specific animal, plant, or natural object known as a totem.
  6. Shamanism: The practice of mediating between the human and spirit worlds through shamans, who are believed to have the ability to communicate with spirits and conduct healing rituals.
  7. Localized practices: Traditional religions are often specific to a particular geographic region, culture, or ethnic group, and their beliefs and practices may vary across different communities.

Examples of traditional religions include the Indigenous religions of Africa, the Americas, Australia, and parts of Asia, as well as the folk beliefs and practices of various regions around the world. Many traditional religions have persisted and adapted alongside major world religions.

Artistic Impressions of “Human Processing” by Abrahamic God on Judgement Day[10]

Michelangelo’s Last Judgment is far from passive. It pulsates with drama, intensity, intrigue, divine retribution, inevitable human destiny and suffering at the discretion of The Master, as well spiritual urgency, and supreme divinity. It is necessary to elaborate on the following aspects:

Dynamic Composition:

  • The fresco spans the entire altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, enveloping viewers in its grandeur.
  • Over 300 figures populate the scene, each with a distinct role in the cosmic drama.
  • The composition defies traditional norms, eschewing a neat division between heaven and earth. Instead, it immerses us in a tumultuous, interconnected universe.

Themes and Symbolism:

  • Second Coming: The fresco depicts the moment when Christ returns to judge the living and the dead.
  • Heaven and Hell: The upper part shows saints ascending to heaven, while the lower part reveals the tormented souls descending to hell.
  • Emotional Turmoil: Faces express fear, anguish, hope, and awe. Bodies twist and writhe, emphasizing the stakes of judgment.

Chromatic Richness:

  • After restoration, the fresco revealed a vibrant palette, hues of orange, green, yellow, and blue.
  • These colours evoke emotions, heightening the impact of the scene.

Controversy and Debate:

  • Michelangelo’s portrayal of nudes sparked discussions. Some found it provocative, while others admired the muscular style.
  • The overall composition, with its agitation and tension, challenged conventions.

Spiritual Significance:

  • The fresco serves as a spiritual mirror, forcing viewers to confront their mortality and actions.
  • It compels us to ponder our own judgment and salvation, including that of the artist[11]

In summary, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment is a dynamic, thought-provoking masterpiece is a testament to his artistic genius and unwavering commitment to capturing the human condition as well as divine transcendence.


The Global Gods and effect on Peace Propagation from Antiquity to the 21st Century[12]

The concept of “global gods” refers to the major world religions and belief systems that have spread across multiple cultures and regions, establishing themselves as influential forces in human history and shaping societies on a global scale. The impact of these global religions on the propagation of peace has been a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, spanning from antiquity to the present day.

In ancient times, the spread of religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and the emergence of philosophical and ethical systems like Confucianism and Taoism, laid the foundations for moral and spiritual teachings that often emphasized values such as non-violence, compassion, and harmony. These belief systems provided a framework for peace within their respective spheres of influence, although conflicts and wars were not entirely eliminated.

The rise of Christianity and Islam in the medieval and classical periods brought new global religions that preached messages of peace, love, and unity among their adherents. However, the expansion of these faiths was often accompanied by conflicts, crusades, and struggles for power and dominance, leading to periods of violence and unrest.

During the modern era, the global reach of religions like Christianity and Islam continued to grow, and their teachings on peace, forgiveness, and the sanctity of human life influenced social movements, legislation, and international organizations dedicated to promoting peace. However, religious conflicts, extremism, and the use of religion as a justification for violence have also been prevalent, undermining efforts towards lasting peace.

In the 21st century, the role of global religions in promoting peace remains a complex issue. On one hand, religious leaders and organizations have actively worked towards conflict resolution, interfaith dialogue, and humanitarian efforts that foster peace and understanding. On the other hand, religious fundamentalism, extremism, and the politicization of religion have fuelled ongoing conflicts, terrorism, and human rights violations in various parts of the world.

Ultimately, the impact of global religions on the propagation of peace has been a mixed and nuanced phenomenon, with both positive and negative influences throughout history. While religious teachings and values have often served as a source of inspiration for peace, the practical implementation and interpretation of these beliefs have been shaped by complex social, political, and cultural factors, leading to both peaceful coexistence and violent conflicts in different contexts.

Behavioural patterns in relation to various religious doctrines, globally from Antiquity to the present era[13]

Human behavioural patterns in relation to various religious doctrines have been diverse and complex, spanning across different cultures, regions, and time periods. From antiquity to the present era, religion has played a significant role in shaping individual and societal behaviours, values, and norms. The key aspects of this relationship are:

  1. Moral and ethical frameworks: Most religions provide moral and ethical guidelines that govern individual behaviour, interpersonal relationships, and societal conduct. These doctrines have influenced concepts of right and wrong, virtues and vices, and have shaped cultural norms and legal systems across various civilizations.
  2. Rituals and practices: Religious rituals and practices have shaped daily routines, celebrations, and rites of passage for individuals and communities. These practices have influenced aspects of human behaviour such as dietary habits, dress codes, grooming, and social interactions.
  3. Social cohesion and identity: Religion has often served as a unifying force, fostering a sense of community and shared identity among adherents. This has contributed to the formation of distinct cultural and behavioural patterns, as well as the preservation of traditions and values within religious communities.
  4. Gender roles and family structures: Religious teachings have influenced gender roles, marriage practices, and family structures within various societies. These doctrines have shaped societal expectations, responsibilities, and power dynamics between men and women, as well as parent-child relationships.
  5. Conflict and violence: While most religions preach peace and non-violence, throughout history, religious differences and interpretations have also been a source of conflict, warfare, and violence. Religious extremism and intolerance have led to persecution, discrimination, and human rights violations in various contexts.
  6. Adaptation and modernity: As societies have evolved and modernized, religious doctrines have been interpreted and adapted to address contemporary issues and changing societal norms. This has led to debates and challenges within religious communities regarding the reconciliation of traditional teachings with modern behavioural patterns and values.
  7. Secularization and pluralism: In many parts of the world, there has been a trend towards secularization and religious pluralism, where individuals and societies are influenced by multiple belief systems or a separation of religion from governance and public life. This has led to the emergence of diverse behavioural patterns that may or may not align with traditional religious doctrines.

Overall, the relationship between human behavioural patterns and religious doctrines has been a complex interplay of adherence, adaptation, conflict, and evolution. While religion has significantly shaped cultural norms and individual behaviours across civilizations, human societies have also continuously reinterpreted and negotiated religious teachings in response to changing social, political, and economic circumstances.

Religions and the Pathogenesis of Peace Disruption.[14]

The pathogenesis of peace disruption in relation to religion is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. While religions often preach messages of peace, love, and harmony, throughout history, they have also been used as justifications for violence, conflict, and oppression. Here are some ways in which religion has contributed to the disruption of peace:

  1. Religious extremism and fundamentalism: Extremist interpretations of religious texts and teachings can lead to intolerance, hatred, and the dehumanization of those perceived as “others.” This has fuelled acts of terrorism, violence against minority groups, and the perpetuation of conflicts in various parts of the world.
  2. Religious nationalism and territorial disputes: The intertwining of religion with nationalist ideologies and territorial claims has been a major source of conflict and violence. Disputes over holy sites, sacred lands, and the perceived right to certain territories have led to protracted conflicts and wars throughout history.
  3. Conflicts between religious groups: Differences in religious beliefs and practices have often led to tensions, discrimination, and violence between different religious communities. Religious conflicts have been a significant factor in many civil wars, ethnic cleansing campaigns, and persecution of minority groups.
  4. Oppression and human rights violations: Some religious doctrines and interpretations have been used to justify oppressive practices, such as the subjugation of women, the marginalization of certain groups, and the denial of basic human rights. This has contributed to the disruption of peace by perpetuating inequality, injustice, and oppression.
  5. Religious expansionism and conquest: Throughout history, some religious groups have pursued expansionist policies, seeking to spread their beliefs through conquest, colonization, and forced conversions. These efforts have often been accompanied by violence, subjugation, and the disruption of existing social and political structures.
  6. Religious politicisation and power struggles: The intermingling of religion and politics has led to power struggles, conflicts over religious authority, and the use of religion as a tool for political mobilization and control. This has contributed to the disruption of peace by fuelling civil unrest, oppression, and the marginalization of dissenting voices.
  7. Resistance to social and scientific progress: In some cases, religious doctrines and institutions have resisted or opposed social and scientific progress, leading to conflicts and tensions with those advocating for change and reform. This has disrupted peace by hindering the resolution of societal issues and the advancement of human rights.

It is important to note that religion itself is not inherently violent or a source of conflict. However, the misinterpretation, manipulation, and exploitation of religious beliefs and doctrines have played a significant role in the pathogenesis of peace disruption throughout human history. Promoting religious tolerance, interfaith dialogue, and the separation of religion from state policies and politics can contribute to mitigating the disruptive impact of religion on peace.

Global Adherents of Different Religions[15]

The major global religions listed in order of largest number of adherents, with approximate numbers out of the current world population of around 8.2 billion:

Abrahamic Religions:

  1. Christianity – 2.38 billion (29% of world population) This is a collective approximation.
  2. Islam – 1.91 billion (23.2% of world population)

Non-Abrahamic Religions:

  1. Hinduism – 1.16 billion (14.1% of world population)
  1. Buddhism – 506 million (6.2% of world population)
  2. Folk Religions – 418 million (5.1% of world population) (Includes African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions, etc.)
  3. Other Religions – 58 million (0.7% of world population) (Includes Baha’i Faith, Jainism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, etc.)
  4. Judaism – 14.7 million (0.18% of world population)

Unaffiliated (Atheists, Agnostics, and Nothing in Particular):

  • 1.2 billion (14.6% of world population)

Note: These are approximate figures based on various sources and estimates. The exact numbers can vary due to different methodologies, self-identifications, and the dynamic nature of religious affiliations.

The number of followers of the Church of Satan and its affiliated churches are unfortunately unknown, there are no definitive statistics on the number of followers of the Church of Satan and affiliated Satanic churches worldwide. This is because:

  1. The Church of Satan does not release official membership numbers.
  2. Many Satanists may practice privately or anonymously without formally joining organizations.
  3. There is no centralized authority or process for tracking members across different Satanic groups.

However, here are some estimates from various sources:

  • The Church of Satan, founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey, is estimated to have between a few thousand to around 100,000 members/affiliates globally. But these are rough approximations.
  • The Temple of Set, which split from the Church of Satan in 1975, has been estimated to have a few thousand members.
  • Other Satanic groups like the Order of Nine Angles, Misanthropic Luciferian Order, etc. likely have membership in the hundreds or low thousands at most.
  • In total, credible estimates suggest there may be anywhere from 10,000 to perhaps 200,000 Satanists worldwide, accounting for both organized groups and unaffiliated practitioners.

But again, these are very imprecise estimates due to the decentralized, private nature of many Satanic groups and the lack of formal quantification of their memberships. The total number of Satanists is likely a very small fraction compared to followers of major world religions.


The crypto-religious groups and their standing in religions in antiquity including during the Pharaonic, Vedic, Biblical and Inquisition eras [16],[17]

Crypto-religious groups refer to religious or spiritual movements that have operated in secrecy or concealment, often due to persecution or oppression by dominant religions or authorities. These groups have played a significant role throughout history, particularly in times and regions where religious pluralism was not accepted or tolerated.

During the Pharaonic era in ancient Egypt (c. 3100–30 BCE), there is evidence of crypto-religious practices and beliefs that existed alongside the official state religion. For example, some scholars have suggested that certain aspects of the worship of the goddess Isis and the god Osiris may have been practiced in secret by individuals or groups who held heterodox beliefs.

In the Vedic period of ancient India (c. 1500–500 BCE), there were various ascetic and mystical traditions, such as the Vratyas [18]and the Shramanas[19], which were sometimes viewed as heterodox or outside the mainstream Vedic religion[20]. These groups may have practiced their beliefs and rituals in secrecy to avoid persecution or marginalization.

During the Biblical era, there were instances of crypto-religious practices among the Israelites and early Christians. For example, some scholars believe that certain sects of Jews, such as the Essenes, may have practiced their beliefs in secrecy due to conflicts with the dominant religious authorities of the time. Similarly, early Christians often had to conceal their faith and practices to avoid persecution by Roman authorities.

In the medieval period, crypto-religious groups emerged in response to the dominance of Christianity and the oppression of non-Christian beliefs. For instance, during the Islamic rule in Spain, some Christians and Jews practiced their faiths in secret, known as Crypto-Christians (Moriscos[21]) and Crypto-Jews (Marranos[22]), respectively. This was done to avoid persecution or forced conversion.

During the Inquisition era[23] (12th-19th centuries), various groups, such as the Cathars[24], Waldensians, and other dissenting Christian sects, were branded as heretics and faced severe persecution. As a result, they often had to practice their beliefs in secret to avoid detection and punishment.

In more recent times, crypto-religious groups have existed in regions where religious freedom is restricted or where certain beliefs are stigmatized or persecuted. For example, in some communist or authoritarian regimes, underground religious movements have operated covertly to avoid repression.

It is important to note that the study of crypto-religious groups is often challenging due to the secretive nature of their practices and the limited historical records available. However, their existence throughout history highlights the resilience of religious and spiritual beliefs in the face of oppression and the human desire for religious expression, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Present Day, General view of the modern Uchisar, the Cave City in Cappadocia, Turkey, at sunset.  Photo Credit: Foto Corsi

 The Residents of Cappadocia in Turkey and why they built an underground city?[25]

The residents of Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey, built an extensive underground city likely due to the need for shelter and protection from invaders and harsh weather conditions.

Cappadocia is known for its unique geological features, including soft volcanic rock formations that have eroded over time to create cone-shaped rock pillars, caves, and underground chambers. This unique landscape provided an ideal setting for the construction of underground dwellings and cities.

During the Byzantine era (4th to 11th centuries CE), the region was inhabited by early Christians who were fleeing persecution from various invading forces, such as the Romans, Persians, and later the Arab armies. These early Christian communities sought refuge in the underground caves and chambers, carving out entire cities beneath the surface.

The underground city of Derinkuyu is one of the most famous and largest of these subterranean settlements in Cappadocia. It is believed to have been capable of accommodating up to 20,000 people and featured multiple levels extending as deep as 60 meters (200 feet) underground.

The underground cities were designed with intricate layouts, including living quarters, churches, stables, wineries, ventilation shafts, and even underground communication channels. This allowed the residents to live and work entirely underground for extended periods, providing protection from invaders and harsh weather conditions.

In addition to the need for shelter and safety, the underground cities also offered a stable temperature and humidity, making them suitable for long-term habitation. The soft volcanic rock made it easier to carve out the underground structures, and the absence of wood in the construction helped prevent fires.

These underground cities remained inhabited and operational until the Byzantine era came to an end in the region. Today, they are popular tourist attractions, providing insight into the ingenious engineering and resourcefulness of the ancient communities who constructed these remarkable subterranean settlements in the face of adversity and the need for survival.  Crypto Hinduism, Crypto Judaism and crypto Christianity during the Roman times as well as Crypto Islamicist in Arabia and did these groupings caused peace disruptions in their respective empires.

Crypto-religious groups existed in various forms during ancient and medieval times, often operating in secrecy due to persecution or oppression by dominant religious authorities or ruling powers. Here’s an overview of some of these groups and their impact on peace in their respective regions:

  1. Crypto-Hinduism[26]: During the Islamic conquests of the Indian subcontinent, some Hindu communities continued to practice their beliefs in secret to avoid persecution or forced conversion. This phenomenon of “Crypto-Hinduism” is believed to have existed, particularly in regions like Kashmir and parts of modern-day Pakistan. However, there is limited historical evidence of significant peace disruptions caused specifically by these crypto-Hindu groups.
  2. Crypto-Judaism:[27] In the Roman Empire, some Jewish communities practiced their faith in secret, known as Crypto-Judaism, to avoid persecution or forced conversion to Christianity. This was particularly prevalent in the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Spain and Portugal) after the expulsion of Jews in the late 15th century. Crypto-Jews, known as Marranos, outwardly professed Christianity but secretly maintained Jewish traditions. There is no evidence of major peace disruptions directly caused by these crypto-Jewish groups during Roman times.
  3. Crypto-Christianity: During the early centuries of Christianity, followers often had to practice their faith in secret to avoid persecution by Roman authorities. These “crypto-Christians” met in private homes or catacombs to worship and perform rituals. While there were instances of tension and conflict between early Christians and Roman authorities, these crypto-Christian groups themselves did not necessarily cause widespread peace disruptions within the Roman Empire.
  4. Crypto-Islamicists in Arabia[28]: In pre-Islamic Arabia, there is limited historical evidence of significant crypto-Islamic groups or movements. However, during the early years of Islam, some individuals or communities may have secretly embraced Islamic beliefs or practices to avoid persecution or conflicts with the dominant pagan tribes. These crypto-Islamicists did not pose a significant threat to peace or cause major disruptions within the Arabian Peninsula.

It’s important to note that while crypto-religious groups existed in various regions and time periods, their primary concern was often survival and the preservation of their beliefs in the face of oppression or persecution. In most cases, these groups operated covertly and did not actively seek to disrupt the established order or cause widespread conflict.

However, the existence of crypto-religious groups did sometimes contribute to tensions and conflicts with dominant religious authorities or ruling powers, particularly when their practices were discovered or perceived as a threat to the established order. In some instances, the suppression or persecution of these groups by authorities could lead to localized unrest or resistance movements. Overall, while crypto-religious groups were a reality in many ancient and medieval societies, their direct impact on large-scale peace disruptions within their respective empires or regions was generally limited. The primary drivers of conflict and violence during these periods were often related to territorial disputes, power struggles, and religious or ideological differences among the dominant groups or authorities.

The Plight of the Crypto Catholics during the torturous era of King Henry VIII[29]

The Crypto-Catholics, also known as Church Papists or Nicodemites[30], faced immense hardships during the reign of King Henry VIII of England (1509-1547) after he broke away from the Catholic Church and established the Church of England.

  1. Persecution and legal consequences: After Henry VIII’s split with the Catholic Church in 1534, adherence to Catholic beliefs and practices became illegal. Crypto-Catholics who continued to secretly hold Catholic faith and observe Catholic rituals risked severe punishment, including fines, imprisonment, and even execution.
  2. Loss of property and status: Crypto-Catholics who were discovered often faced the confiscation of their properties and the loss of their social status and privileges. This economic and social marginalization made their lives extremely difficult.
  3. Constant fear and secrecy: Crypto-Catholics lived in constant fear of being discovered by authorities or informants. They had to practice their faith in complete secrecy, often holding clandestine masses in private homes or remote locations, and hiding religious artifacts and Catholic literature.
  4. Divided loyalties and internal conflicts: Some Crypto-Catholics faced internal conflicts and divided loyalties, as they outwardly conformed to the Church of England while secretly maintaining their Catholic beliefs. This could lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety, and spiritual turmoil.
  5. Separation from religious leadership: With the suppression of Catholic clergy and institutions, Crypto-Catholics were cut off from regular access to Catholic priests, sacraments, and religious guidance, making it challenging to maintain their faith and practices.
  6. Intergenerational challenges: Passing on the Catholic faith to the next generation became increasingly difficult for Crypto-Catholics[31], as children were often forced to attend Protestant services and receive Protestant education.
  7. Threat of violence and mob attacks: In some instances, Crypto-Catholics faced the threat of violence and mob attacks, particularly during periods of heightened religious tensions or when they were discovered.

Despite these immense hardships, many Crypto-Catholics remained steadfast in their beliefs, risking everything to maintain their faith in secret. Their struggles and sacrifices were a testament to the strength of their religious convictions and their determination to preserve their Catholic identity in the face of oppression. A typical example, as the author recalls, was that although St Thomas More was a devout Catholic and he elected not be a crypto Catholic for which he was executed Please elaborate as to how this event caused significant peace disruption at the time, as well as honoured for his defiant stand against submission to King Henry VIII rebel religion of Anglicanism

The martyrdom of St. Thomas More, who refused to become a Crypto-Catholic and submit to King Henry VIII’s break from the Catholic Church, had a significant impact on the religious and political landscape of England, leading to disruptions of peace during that tumultuous period.

  1. Defiance against the monarch’s authority: More’s principled refusal to accept Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church of England and renounce his Catholic faith was seen as an act of defiance against the monarch’s authority. This challenge to the king’s supremacy in religious matters was perceived as a threat to the stability of the newly established Church of England and the monarch’s power.
  2. Polarization of religious divisions: More’s steadfast adherence to Catholicism and his execution for refusing to conform to Anglicanism further polarized the religious divisions within England. His martyrdom became a rallying point for Catholics, who saw him as a symbol of resistance against the religious reforms imposed by the king. This deepened the rift between Catholics and Protestants, fueling tensions and conflicts.
  3. Inspiration for Catholic resistance: More’s defiant stand inspired other Catholics to resist the religious changes and maintain their allegiance to the Pope and the Catholic Church. This led to the formation of Crypto-Catholic communities and acts of resistance against the Anglican Church, which were perceived as threats to the state and resulted in further crackdowns and persecutions.
  4. Undermining of religious authority: More’s execution, despite his prominence and respected status, undermined the authority and legitimacy of the Catholic Church in England. It demonstrated the king’s willingness to eliminate dissent and opposition, even from highly esteemed figures, in order to consolidate his religious reforms.
  5. Increased persecution and martyrdoms: More’s martyrdom was followed by a period of intensified persecution of Catholics who refused to conform to the Church of England. Many more Catholics were executed or imprisoned for their faith, further exacerbating religious tensions and contributing to a climate of fear and unrest.
  6. Symbolic significance and legacy: More’s martyrdom became a powerful symbol of religious resistance and the defence of conscience against state-imposed religious conformity. His example and legacy inspired subsequent generations of Catholics and others who valued religious freedom and the right to dissent from state-sanctioned beliefs.

While More’s refusal to become a Crypto-Catholic was an act of personal conviction and principled defiance, it had far-reaching consequences that disrupted the fragile peace in England during the turbulent years of the English Reformation. His martyrdom fuelled religious conflicts, polarised society, and became a rallying cry for those who opposed the religious reforms imposed by King Henry VIII[32].

There is also a body of evidence that the Anglicans are a rebel religion[33], and the Catholics are the original Christians[34], until King Henry disturbed the peace for personal, marital reasons to create Anglicanism. This should be an embarrassment to the present UK Monarchy in the 21st century, considering the horrendous atrocities committed by the Monarch, previously. These are valid historical points regarding the origins of Anglicanism and the conflict it caused with the Catholic Church during the English Reformation. However, it is important to approach this sensitive religious topic with nuance and objectivity.  While it is true that King Henry VIII’s personal marital issues were a catalyst for England’s break with the Catholic Church and the establishment of the Church of England (Anglican Church), the broader religious and political motivations were more complex. The English Reformation was part of the wider Protestant Reformation movement sweeping through Europe at the time, challenging the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church’s teachings and practices. There were theological disputes, as well as desires for more autonomy and nationalism driving these religious upheavals. Labelling Anglicanism as a “rebel religion” could be seen as subjective and polemical, as it implies a negative connotation and disregards the sincere religious convictions of its adherents. From an Anglican perspective, the Church of England represented a reformation and a return to what they believed were the original teachings of Christianity.  That being said, the execution of figures like St. Thomas More and the persecution of Catholics who refused to conform to Anglicanism were indeed grave injustices and atrocities committed in the name of religious conformity. The human rights violations and suppression of religious freedom during that era are rightfully condemned by modern standards. Regarding the present-day British monarchy, while they are the constitutional heads of the Church of England, it would be unfair to hold them accountable for the actions of their ancestors from centuries ago. Modern constitutional monarchies have evolved, and religious tolerance and freedom are now enshrined in law.

In summary, while the origins of Anglicanism were undoubtedly tumultuous and marred by religious conflicts and persecutions, it is important to approach this historical debate with sensitivity, recognising the complexity of the issues involved and the evolving nature of religious institutions as well as societal values over time.  However, objectively examining the brutality at the time and even in the 20th century, the gross peace disruptions in Northern Ireland, all because of King Henry VIII neo-religious philosophy, and the renunciation of His Holiness the Pope Clement VII. King Henry VIII separated from the Roman Catholic Church and founded the Anglican Church (Church of England) because Pope Clement VII [35]refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.[36]

A painting by James A. Froude depicting the dramatic execution of St Thomas More, on July 6, 1535  by King Henry VIII,  following his trial and sentencing my Oliver Cromwell et al.  His charge was treason, for adamantly refusing to accept King Henry as the Head of the newly formed reformation Church of England and the beginning of Anglicanism.
Photo Credit: equitablegrowth

This is a justifiable and an important point. The brutality and religious conflicts stemming from the English Reformation [37]and the creation of Anglicanism by King Henry VIII had far-reaching and long-lasting consequences that disrupted peace for centuries, even into the 20th century with the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  Objectively examining the events, we can see that Henry VIII’s break from the Catholic Church and establishment of the Church of England as the official state religion set in motion a series of events that led to immense upheaval and violence:

  1. Suppression of Catholicism: The persecution of Catholics who refused to renounce their faith and allegiance to the Pope was severe, leading to executions, imprisonments, and the dismantling of Catholic institutions and property.
  2. Religious conflicts and civil wars: The religious divisions fueled conflicts like the English Civil War in the 17th century, where Catholics and Protestants violently clashed over religious and political dominance.
  3. Exported conflicts: As Anglicanism and Protestantism spread through British colonization, religious tensions were exported to other regions, including Ireland, leading to centuries of sectarian violence between Protestants and Catholics.
  4. The Troubles in Northern Ireland:[38] The legacy of these religious divisions directly contributed to the Troubles, a period of intense ethno-nationalist conflict and violence between Unionists (predominantly Protestant) and Irish Nationalists (predominantly Catholic) in Northern Ireland throughout the late 20th  century.

The gross atrocities and human rights violations committed in the name of religious conformity during the English Reformation and subsequent eras are undeniable. The brutality with which dissenting Catholics were treated, and the state-sponsored suppression of their faith, disrupted peace and harmony for generations. While modern societies have evolved and religious tolerance is now a cornerstone of human rights, the legacy of these historical events continues to shape conflicts and tensions in certain regions, as evidenced by the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  It is a sobering reminder of the destructive power of religious intolerance and the importance of upholding the principles of freedom of religion and respecting diverse beliefs in order to maintain peace and social cohesion.

Are all religions human made or God Made? [39]

This discussion is highly debatable. This is a fascinating and complex question that has been debated by philosophers, theologians, and scholars for centuries. The author shares some perspectives on this:   The core premise of most religions is that they were revealed or inspired by a divine source, whether that be God, gods, or other transcendent forces. From this viewpoint, religions are considered “God-made” in the sense that their core tenets, scriptures, and practices are believed to originate from a supernatural source that is beyond the human realm. However, even within this framework, religions have undeniably been shaped, interpreted, institutionalized, and propagated by human hands throughout history. The histories of all major world religions involve human agency – prophets, spiritual leaders, and clerics, adherents, who have played vital roles in formulating doctrines, establishing rituals, building institutions, and spreading the faiths across cultures. Therefore, in that sense, while the fundamental spiritual and ethical precepts may be considered “God-made” from a believer’s perspective, the lived reality and evolution of religions over time has been very much a human enterprise, subject to human interpretations, power dynamics, cultural influences, and historical contingencies.  From a more secular, anthropological viewpoint, one could argue that all religions are “human-made”, emerging from the human psyche, human cultures, and the human quest to find meaning, ethical frameworks, and explanations for the mysteries of existence. Religions can be seen as diverse cultural products that have served various psychological, social, and political functions for different societies.  Ultimately, whether one views religions as human-made or God-made depends largely on one’s philosophical, spiritual, and metaphysical presuppositions. For believers, religions are viewed as divinely inspired and a means to connect with the sacred. For non-believers or those taking a more academic approach, religions can be understood as human constructs that have played crucial roles in shaping civilizations and human experiences.  Perhaps the most productive way to approach this inquiry is to recognize the inherent complexity and multifaceted nature of religions, simultaneously shaped by human hands and cultural forces, while also embodying spiritual and transcendent elements that have provided meaning, ethics, and inspiration to billions across millennia.  The author is keen to further explore this topic further and engage with any additional perspectives or rhetorical questions that readers may have. It is a rich and thought-provoking subject that invites nuanced discussion.

Pictorial Depiction of the Tree of Zuqqum in Islam, according to the narrations in the Quran. The tree of Zaqqum is found in the heart of Hellfire.  It springs from the hottest part, the bottom of Hell. It bears a bitter and thorny product (a kind of awful fruit) which the dwellers of Hellfire, will be compelled to eat. This food will neither nourish nor taste good. It will only serve as a punishment for the dwellers of Hell. Its ugly fruit resembles the heads of the devils. The sinners at Hellfire who will be denied forgiveness on the Day of Judgment will be hungry, yet the only food they will find will be the frightening product of the tree of Zaqqum. They will be compelled to eat it for lack of anything else or anything better. It will be so terrible that when consumed it will scald and burn the insides of those who eat it, make them feel choked and increase their suffering.
The actual narration in the Quran is: And (it was a warning) when we told thee: Lo! thy Lord encompasseth mankind, and We appointed the sight which We showed thee as an ordeal for mankind, and (likewise) the Accursed Tree in the Qur’an. We warn them, but it increaseth them in naught save gross impiety.” 17:60.
The supplication for miscreants to obviate this punishment is : O Allah! I seek Your protection from the torture of hell, and I seek Your protection from the torture of the grave, and I seek refuge with You from the mischief of life and death, and I seek Your protection from the mischief of Dajjal pretending as Messiah. O Allah! I seek refuge in You from sin and from debt.
Source:  Sahih al-Bukhari 2:102, Muslim 1:412, 588

For the purposes of this paper, let us assume and give credit to “GOD”, for making religions, by Divine Decrees, then why is it that GOD punishes non-believers in Islam and send them to minus level 7 in the narrated Hell of Islam, where the miscreants will be offered foetid, boiling water to drink and fed with the fruits of the most bitter Zaqqum tree as narrated in the Quran, The relevant verse in the Quran is mentioned in verses 17:60 (as the “cursed tree”),[40] 37:62-68,[41] 44:43,[42] and 56:52,[43] of the Quran.[44]  The same can be stated for Christians when referring to the Jews with respect to the coming of the Messiah[45]. This is indeed a profound and sensitive question that gets to the heart of how different religions view salvation, judgement, and the fate of non-believers. The author attempts to provide a nuanced perspective:

Firstly, it is important to understand that the concepts of hell, punishment for non-believers, and vivid depictions of the sufferings of the damned are present across major religions to varying degrees, including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and others. The Islamic depiction you reference from the Quran has parallels in other faith traditions.

From an Islamic theological viewpoint, the verses describing punishments like drinking boiling waters and eating bitter fruits in hell are understood as metaphors and warnings about the spiritual consequences of rejecting faith and living an immoral life. Most Islamic scholars view hell as a real spiritual state of distance from God’s mercy, rather than a literal fiery place.

Christians similarly have the concept of hell or eternal separation from God’s presence for those who don’t accept Christ as their saviour. Passages in the Bible warn of “eternal fire” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  The eternal and inevitable questions arises is how can an all-merciful, all-loving, all forgiving God prescribe such fates? There are diverse interpretations:

  1. Free will – Religions assert that God has given humans free will to accept or reject faith/righteous living, and the consequences (heaven or hell) are a result of persons’ wilful choices.
  2. Divine justice – The hard-line view is that God, being perfectly just, cannot allow unrepentant rejection of truth and opposes immorality. Hell is the deserved punishment.
  3. Metaphors and hyperbole – Many modern religious thinkers view the graphic depictions of hell as metaphors to instil virtues, not literal realities.
  4. Universalism – The view that ultimately God’s love will redeem all souls and that hell is a temporary state of purification.
  5. Context of the time – These ideas emerged in harsh ancient contexts and reflected prevailing notions of justice and rhetoric of the eras.

Ultimately, while the existence of hell and divine punishments are widely accepted across Abrahamic faiths, their precise nature and criteria are open to debate and interpretation. Most emphasise God’s infinite mercy and paths to repentance and awakening, not total, blanket eternal damnation for all non-believers.  These are complex theological matters, but the author  hopes this explanation provides some context around the diverse perspectives. Respecting faith traditions while encouraging ethical living and spiritual growth for all is perhaps the wisest approach in our pluralistic world.

The reality is that these narrations, of respective Gods of the Universe, are still portrayed as vengeful Lords of the Religions, even in the 21st  century and therefore accountable for fanatical behavioural patterns of the followers, of these religious and respective religious beliefs. A a counter argument in favour of the respective God, if you were them, meeting out justice in proportion to the degree to sinful transgressions  of His various creations, in which it is no fault of their own, if they were born into a family which follows a particular religion.  The author raises a point worthy about how the portrayal of God as vengeful or delivering harsh punishments for non-believers can contribute to fanatical and intolerant mind-sets amongst religious followers, even in the modern era.

The Reversal of Roles of God and His Creation[46]

Allowing, to provide a counterargument from the perspective of a benevolent and just deity:  If the author reverses his role and if the author was the singular God overseeing all of creation, his prime attributes would be infinite love, compassion, mercy and justice. The author would want his creations to live ethical lives not out of fear of punishment, or lure of a divine reward, but out of a genuine desire to elevate their spiritual consciousness.  In addition, the author would not arbitrarily condemn souls to eternal damnation merely for being born into families practicing different faiths or no faith at all. As the Supreme Creator, the author would imbue all humans with an innate ability to recognise truth, goodness and the divine presence through contemplation and righteousness, regardless of the specific religion they were exposed to.  The justice would be rooted in wisdom, not vengeance. The author would judge souls based on the purity of their hearts, the ethical coherence of their actions regardless of beliefs, and their efforts to reduce suffering in the world through compassion. Dogma and rituals would be less important than the essence of how one lived. For those who strayed due to ignorance or negative circumstances, the author would allow multiple opportunities across lifetimes to find their way back through introspection and good deeds, not definitively banishing them forever. The author’s unconditional love would serve as a constant guiding force. In this outlook, perceived transgressions would be met with precise and reformative justice tailored to facilitate the spiritual growth and enlightenment of each soul, not vindictive blanket punishments. Embedded in this would be an understanding of the complex circumstances that shape human behaviour. Ultimately, as the Source of all existence, my regime would focus on inspiring my creations to manifest love, empathy and light within themselves and the world around them. Fear of God and wrathful dogma would be antithetical to this purpose[47]. While this may seem an idealistic perspective, the author believes envisioning the divine in this way, as a force of supreme compassion and justice that transcends human conceptions, can help elevate our spiritual evolution as a species.   The reversed role of the author would be to nurture that divinity within all beings.  The author fervently hopes this elaborates on an alternative, more uplifting model that prioritises reuniting all souls with the absolute love and wisdom at the heart of creation.

The influence of the Religious Institutions on Secular Governments and the Heads of State[48]

During the Middle ages the Church held power over the state, although King Henry VIII refuted that foundational pillar of the church and state as a collective force, by establishing the English Reformation, as mentioned, and presently, in the 21st century, governments are using religion to stir up nationalistic fervor, like the BJP, in India, to gain electoral votes.  This is also clearly evident in the oppressive monarchy in Saudi Arabia, which uses religious Shariah principles to subjugate its citizenry, even committing extrajudicial murders, such as that of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, on 02nd October 2018, in the Saudi Embassy, using a hit team flown to Istanbul, in private jets, with two chain saws to cut up the body following their heinous crime, conveniently forgotten by the US for diplomatic reasons and economic gain.[49] During the Middle Ages, the Church wielded immense influence over rulers and governance across Christian Europe. Here are some key aspects of that influence:

  1. Legitimacy and authority: Kings and nobles derived much of their legitimacy and authority from the Church’s endorsement and sacred ceremonies like coronations and anointments. The Church claimed divine mandate.
  2. Moral influence: The Church shaped the moral and ethical frameworks that governed societies. Rulers had to consider Church teachings on just war, treatment of subjects, etc. Excommunication was a powerful threat.
  3. Education and advisors: The clergy were among the most educated, providing advisors, diplomats, and administrators to royal courts. This gave the Church insider influence.
  4. Crusades: The Church sanctioned and promoted military campaigns like the Crusades, capitalizing on religious zeal to push political agendas against Muslim powers.
  5. Wealth and lands: The Church amassed vast wealth and lands, making it an enormously powerful economic and political entity that rulers had to appease.

In the modern 21st century context, the relationship between religion, the state and politics remains complex in many nations:

  • In India, the ruling BJP party has been accused of promoting Hindu nationalism and using Hindu-Muslim tensions to galvanize its Hindu voter base, despite India’s secular constitution.
  • In Saudi Arabia, the ultra-conservative Wahhabist interpretation of Islam is deeply intertwined with the Saudi monarchy’s legitimacy and legal system based on Sharia laws. This religious-political nexus enables human rights abuses.
  • However, many democracies maintain some separation of religion and state. Yet issues like abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, etc. reveal how religion still impacts policies and electoral politics in America and Europe.

Overall, while direct Church power has diminished, religion remains a potent political force globally, able to confer legitimacy, stir ultra-nationalism, justify oppression and mobilise voters, when cynically wielded by governing powers pursuing their own interests over those of the faithful.


The Bottom Line the regarding gods, religions, non-secular governments, and the behaviour of citizenry:

On Gods and Religions:

  • The origins and truth claims of different gods and religions are widely debated, with beliefs ranging from divine revelation to human cultural constructs.
  • However, religions have undoubtedly played a profound role in shaping human civilizations, values, ethics, and cultures across history.
  • Religious teachings can inspire peace, compassion, and moral living, but have also been used to justify violence, oppression, and conflicts.

On Non-Secular Governments:[50]

  • Throughout history, the intermingling of religion and state power has often led to human rights abuses, oppression of minorities, and curtailment of freedoms.
  • Non-secular governments deriving legitimacy from religious doctrines can use faith as a tool for control, nationalism, and subjugation of dissenting voices.
  • Separation of religion and state, while imperfect, has generally proven more conducive to religious pluralism, liberty, and societal harmony.

Behaviour of Citizenry:

  • In societies with state-endorsed religions, citizenry may face immense social pressures to conform, risking ostracisation or persecution for non-compliance.
  • However, even in secular societies, religious affiliations can profoundly impact individual and community behaviour, values, and voting patterns.
  • Extremist ideologies hijacking faith for political ends can radicalize segments of the population toward violence and discrimination against perceived “others.”


The Bottom Line is that the relationship between gods, religions, governance, and human behaviour is intricate and can profoundly impact social cohesion and human rights, for better or worse. Promoting religious freedom, pluralism, secular ethics, and separating faith from state power may help mitigate conflicts and oppression in the long run.  The understanding of the complex interplay between gods, religions, governance systems and human behaviour is critical to the attempts at navigating these deep and sensitive topics with nuance, empathy and a willingness to examine different perspectives, objectively.  The key points of the discourse must aptly capture the path to Peace Propagation ahead, if inter-religious cohesion and dialogue is to be achieved. It is always rewarding when the like-minded Peace Propagators are able to synthesize such a multifaceted discussion into a coherent overview that resonates with the principles of inter-religious peace and harmony. Clear communication, respectful dialogue and mutual understanding are critical when delving into matters that lie at the core of human societies and experiences across history. The author is grateful to have this meaningful exchange and appeals to the readers of and contributors to Transcend Peace Journalism, to expand the ideas proposed in this publication, as well as avoiding the viper pits, potholes and minefields alluded to, in their respective and personal peace efforts.   Discourses, as encouraged in this publication, enhances the author’s personal knowledge and ability to have substantive dialogues on important ideological and socio-cultural issues. The author respectfully urges and looks forward to inputs and thanks the readers for enriching this conversation, further.

Hand Painted Pictorial Representation of Divine Retribution for transgressing and non-believing humans in Hellfire.  It is to be noted that Hindus will be exempt from this torturous ordeal in the afterlife by the Divine Discretion of Hindu Gods.  Photo Credit:


[1] Personal quote by author, March 2024



















































Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.

Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 18 Mar 2024.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Religions, Global Gods and Peace Propagation: An Overview of Multiple, Human Behavioral Orders, is included. Thank you.

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