ES Final Research Submit Dec 9.docx - Introduction Aside...

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Introduction Aside from the giant oil reserves of the world, incessant conflicts are undoubtedly the theme that attracts the most attention about the Middle East. Using comparative research methods, we analyze religious conflicts in the Middle East and the influences of the U.S. on this situation. The topic is chosen based on two reasons. First, the Middle East is where civilizations are intertwined, making it the homeland of major religions in the world. This leads to a diversity of religious traditions, along with territorial conflicts and power disputes, among the people and countries there. Second, as the role of a big country, the U.S. should deal with these conflicts since they have been seeking out security and economic interests from the Middle East. About the outline, firstly, we explore the origins, and patterns of conflicts both between and within different religious traditions. Next, we address the impact of the U.S. on religious conflicts in the Middle East regarding Sunni - Shia and Palestinian - Israeli tensions. An introduction to religions in the Middle East The crucial role that religious beliefs occupy in Middle Eastern society and culture is impossible to be denied. Three of the world’s greatest religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as other minor ones that still exist today, emerged from this area. This section will briefly provide some information about these three most significant monotheistic faiths. Judaism is the name of the religion followed by people belonging to the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, each of whom later became a whole tribe. The word Judah means praise; Judaism therefore literally means the people of praise. They include descendants 1
of Babylonian Jews and Mountain Jews from many modern Middle Eastern countries. These days, in the Middle East, Judaism is mainly practiced in Israel (Wenisch, 2014). Christianity is derived from Chris, which is another name of Chris, the primary figure of the religion. Christianity in the Middle East is identified by its various beliefs and traditions, in comparison with other parts of the world. Although once being one of the major religions until mid to late 7 th century AD, there is now a decline in the number of Middle Eastern Christians in some regions because of some reasons such as extensive emigration and religious persecution. Nevertheless, with around 1,700 million followers around the world, Christianity is still the most popular religion (Wenisch, 2014). Islam is derived from the Arabic root silm , meaning to surrender or to give up. This inner surrender can be realized by the submission of oneself’s will to the will of God. Islam is the most widely occupied religion in the Middle East with about 20% of the world’s Muslims live in the Middle East. Many people may mistakenly think that Prophet Muhammad is the founder of Islam, but he was only a person commissioned by God to teach (Wenisch, 2014).

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