August 16, 2005

Religion and death

the Herero and Nama peoples of Southwest Africa 1904–1907 in current-day Namibia 75000 ethnic/territorial
Tutsis and moderate Hutus, April 1994 Rwanda 937,000 ethnic
Sudan 1983 - present Sudan 2000000 ethnic
Kurdish populations 1986-88 Iraq 182,000 religious/ethnic
Assyrians 1914–1923 Turkey 500,000 to 750,000 religious/ethnic
Armenians 1915-1917 Turkey 600,000 to 1.5 million religious/ethnic
Pontian Greeks 1914–1923 Turkey 300,000 to 600,000 religious/ethnic
Bosnian Muslims 1992–1995 Bosnia 8,000 religious/ethnic
Serbs, Jews and Gypsies 1941 - 1945 Croatia 80,000 to 100,000 religious
Jews, Roma, Slavs, homosexuals, communists 1933–1945 Germany 11 million territorial/ethnic/religious
Ukrainians 1932–1933 USSR 6,000,000 to 10,000,000 communism
Cambodians ethnic Vietnamese,
ethnic Chinese or Sino-Khmers,
ethnic Chams, ethnic Thais,
Buddhist monks, secular intellectuals
1975–1979 Cambodia 1.7 million ethnic/communism
tibetians 1950s and 1960s Tibet 400,000 communism
Degar 1973 - Present Vietnam 2 to 2.5 million ethinc/communism
Hindus 1947 India (partition) 5 million religious
Sikh 1919 Amritsar (India) 400 religious/territorial
Hindus 1989 - present Kashmir 45,000+ religous/territorial
Bangladeshis 1971 Bangladesh 3 million territorial
chinese 1959 - 1961 China 15 to 30 million political/communism


communism 25,100,000
ethnic 19,302,000
religion 17,715,400
territorial 14,120,400

I have placed the Holocaust as having a religious element not becuase it was aimed at the Jews but because Nazism was not an atheist society. There was a state religion deliberately built around the Aryan race, going so far as to generate it's own rituals for marrage.

I have not put the deaths of the Great Leap Forward under a religious category as at that time the personality cult that Mao Tse-Tung formed around himself had not yet fully formed. During the Cultural Revolution this personality cult can hardly be classified as anything other than a, short lived, state religion. However I have no figures for the deaths during that time so I could not include it.

Communism was the most deadly ideology of the 20 century in terms of genocide. After that is ethnic strife. Third is religion with a mere 17 million (mainly due to the state religion of the Nazis) despite this often being called a secular century. Finally comes territorial expantion, and a desire to wipe out any inhabitants in order to gain the maximum new space and start with a clean slate.

It should be noted that the number killed by basically liberal secular states is 400 at Amritsar, which pales in comparison to what happens when you unlease totalitarianism or religion on a people. The numbers may show religion and communism in a better light if the 19th century are included as there where many more deaths from secular liberal states during this time as they carved out their empires and the communist states where not formed until the early 20th century.

If you look at the number of times a particular cause is implicated teh number one is ethinic strife. Number two is religion, with territorial expanision and communism in third and forth place. So communism may not have caused many but the ones it did where big. Religion may have been at the root on lots of massacares, but they tended to be of more limited scope.

Data from Wikipedia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a comprehensive and well-sourced site on democide (governments killing their own) which has conservative estimates for 1900-1987 of 169,000,000 dead. This excludes wars. Food for thought.


7:39 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home