chapter  10
ByRolin G. Mainuddin
Pages 4

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the preceding chapters of this book. The book begins with the task of understanding the impact of religion on politics—particularly explosive behavior against the state. A few observations are in order. First, violence is not a monopoly of any religion or denomination. Second, in withdrawing its support from the ruling elite, religious institutions deny the state legitimacy and give momentum to opposition movements. Third, a crusading spirit of state secularism imposed on an unwilling population is counter-productive. Without access to legitimate channels for redressing grievances, religious opposition will feel compelled to resort to violence. Finally, whereas social and economic factors are necessary, they are not sufficient conditions for religious violence. Liberation theology provided the environment for creating the religious based communities in rural Nicaragua. However, a crucial step was the appointment of new Catholic leadership in that country that reflected the changing mood in the Vatican.