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    • Why (some) states use religion to justify violence - The Washington Post
      When states enforce a particular interpretation of religious law, citizens are forced to abide by it rather than their own conscience. And when states retain the ability to hire and train clerical staff, manage the construction of religious buildings and even approve sermons, they hinder the ability of individuals and groups to function as independent social actors. Through policy mechanisms, religion becomes a tool of the state, ready to be wielded to advance its interests. That tool can even be used to justify acts of physical coercion and even violence
    • As Christmas approaches, Baghdad Christians lament empty pews - The Washington Post
      “It’s a disaster,” he said. “Violence and discrimination and corruption are kicking us out, then others are pulling us out. The international community is encouraging Christians to leave. This is destroying our community here.”

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