Effects of violent missionary work

We all know these events in history where people of one religion conquered a country with a different religion and forced them to take on the new religion. This process has an interesting psychological effect.

Let us imagine such a situation. You live peacefully with your people in your country. Everything is fine. You feel happy with your religious belief, your religious teachings, rituals, worldview, etc. Everything feels right and good for you. You go to your temple for prayers, you listen to your religious leaders when they preach, all your family members believe in the same gods/goddesses. Life is good. Maybe you know that there are also other people with a different belief, with other gods but this doesn´t matter for you as it is not your business.

One day a crowd of foreign people come, with weapons. Maybe at first sight you think that they just want to do trading with you but then you realize that they have bad intentions. They are very aggressive and they want all what is of value in their eyes. So they plunder your property, they plunder your temples, they plunder and they steal everything what they can get. You and your people try to defend yourselves but the strangers are more powerful and they are very evil. They kill your people, they torture and they also rape your women. They show no mercy. And they do not respect your gods. They behave like animals.

After causing a lot of destruction, these foreigners proclaim themselves as the new leaders of your country and you and your people are degraded. Further on they declare that your religious belief is nonsense, that it is evil and that you have to convert to their religion.

So your temples are burned and robbed, the statues of your gods and goddesses are destroyed, your priests are killed and you are now forced to convert to this new religion which comes from a different country, a different culture, etc.

There are some who resist, who do not want to convert. These resistance fighters are gathered on the village square and your people are forced to witness the torture of them. Some are whipped, some are burned with fire and others are beheaded. The victims are screaming from pain. The people are horrified by witnessing the brutality of the new masters. Nearly everyone has lost members of the family. Everything is devastated.  You have lost your freedom. In the end all those who have survived have converted to the new religion. Your soul is traumatized for the rest of your life.

In steps everything comes back to “normal life”. You go now to the new temples and you worship the new god. Secretly you still pray to your old gods but everyone has got used to this new life style and the new religion, the new masters. You and your people gave up as victory against your oppressors is not possible. Time goes by. Meanwhile a new generation of people has been born and raised. These children, teenager and young adults do not know anything else than the new religion and the new system in society. From time to time they hear stories about the former times, about the old gods. But it is not important any more.

One generation later, your descendants are those who conquer other countries and bring them the new religion, killing and torturing all those of a different belief.

Your descendants believe now that you and your people all were infidels, doomed to be tortured forever in hell while they as the right believers will enter a paradise after death. And certainly, if they meet an “infidel” they will bring him to hell directly. The “good” new religion has no mercy!

Now when you imagine this, what do you think?

This brainwashing and perversion has happened so many times in history worldwide without any respect for the ancestors, without questioning the value of their belief.

Unfortunately this is a psychological pattern which happens in various fields of life. When evil is the standard, then it is normal and it is repeated and passed on to the next generation (until someone stops this pattern consciously). This is also true for violence in family, for abuse of children, etc. The formerly victims becomes the perpetrator in the next generation.

In general it is so important to raise awareness and to question things. We cannot continue with evil behavior only because it was/is the standard.