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Mass crimes against humanity and genocides

Stages leading to genocide

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Listed elsewhere in this web site are brief accounts of mass crimes against humanity. Many of these atrocities followed a well defined sequence :

  • Stage 1: Identification of a group to be victimized on the basis of their:
    •  religion,
    • race,
    • gender,
    • ethnicity,
    • language,
    • sexual orientation,
    • sexual identification,
    • etc.
  • Stage 2: Dissemination of propaganda aimed at convincing the public that the group:
    • Should be reduced to a sub-human status.
    • Is a threat to society.
    • Should not enjoy full human rights.
    • Ultimately, should not be tolerated. 

    Surprisingly, expertly crafted hate propaganda can often convince part of the public that a small minority represents a major threat to society: Hitler victimized the Jews in this way; Rwanda did it to the Tutsis; Bosnian Serbs victimized the Muslims; Indonesian Muslims did it to the Christians in East Timor. This has even happened in North America where social and religious conservatives continue to convince a significant percentage of the public that homosexuals are a threat to society and that same-sex marriage represents an extreme danger to the institution of marriage. Fortunately, only a very small percentage of Christian faith groups advocate extermination of sexual minorities.

  • Stage 3: Extermination plans are proposed.
  • Stage 4: Extermination of the group is carried out. Fortunately, only a minority of cases of mass murder reach this stage. Recent religiously motivated cases have been seen in Bosnia Herzegovina, East Timor, and Sudan.

In our opinion, the best technique to prevent atrocities is to make certain that the first step never happens. Unfortunately, there are already victimized groups in North America and elsewhere who are already at this stage, or beyond. They are being identified and discriminated against on the basis of:

In the field of religion, for example:

  • Most born-again Christians in America view Islam and Buddhism as having a negative impact on society. 3
  • Only 49% of American adults would vote for an otherwise well-qualified candidate for President, if she/he happened to be an Atheist. Atheists are the most discriminated against group in this area/ 3
  • During 2000-MAY, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., decided to prohibit future ordinations of women. 4
  • George W. Bush, during his race for the presidency, stated that Wiccan soldiers should be deprived of those religious freedoms that are routinely enjoyed by Christians and Jews. 5 
  • During the year 2000, a Baptist minister in Kileen, TX, allegedly said that the U.S. army should napalm all Wiccans

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  1. "Genocide," at: http://www.encyclopedia.com/
  2. "20th Century Democide," at: http://www.hawaii.edu/
  3. "Prejudice of Americans towards those of various faiths." On-site essay.
  4. "Women clergy in Orthodox and Protestant Christianity, and other religions," On-site essay.
  5. "Rolling cyber-debate on religious freedom," Web White & Blue 2000, 2000-OCT-15, at http://www.webwhiteblue.org/

Site navigation: Home page > Laws & religionGenocide > here

or: Home page > Religious violence > Genocide > here

Copyright © 2001 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-JAN-1
Latest update: 2008-JUL-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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