The Meaning of ‘Mixing Religion and Politics’

Mixing religion with politics means using religious faith for political aims. Because of the terrible atrocities that have been perpetrated throughout history in the name of religion, it is often said that religion is the cause of much suffering in the world. However, when practised purely, religion cannot cause suffering. It is not religion itself but rather the exploitation of religion for political objectives that has caused and continues to cause so much suffering in this world. For example, in the West it is clearly understood that mixing religion and politics has been the cause of many problems, and of the sufferings caused by the Crusades, the Inquisition and the numerous European wars that have been fought in the name of religion, even in modern times. The western experience is that mixing religion and politics does not work. Because this is clearly recognised, in almost all countries throughout the West today there is a clear separation between ‘Church’ and ‘State’.