‘Religion Concerns Matters Of The Heart’

The BBC reports that violent clashes between police and protestors have broken out in the Jammu region of Indian-administered Kashmir. The protesters were angry over a decision to revoke a plan to give land to a board that manages the Amarnath Hindu shrine. This important shrine has become something of a political football over the past few years. It seems a very good example of the problems created when religion is used to achieve partisan political ends. I find this quotation from`Abdu’l-Bahá to be particularly apposite-

‘Religion concerns matters of the heart, of the spirit, and of morals. Politics are occupied with the material things of life. Religious teachers should not invade the realm of politics; they should concern themselves with the spiritual education of the people; they should ever give good counsel to men, trying to serve God and human kind; they should endeavour to awaken spiritual aspiration, and strive to enlarge the understanding and knowledge of humanity, to improve morals, and to increase the love for justice’.

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