User:Annquin/Christian terrorism

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Christian terrorism is terrorism by those of the Christian faith, intended to promote Christian ideas, attack non-Christians, and/or push the interests of ethnic or national groups whose identity is partly based around their Christianity. It may be directed against non-Christians or Christians of other denominations.

Anti-abortion terrorism[edit]

Not all anti-abortionists are Christian, but many are. Anti-abortion violence is most commonly associated with the USA, where the Army of God is a terrorist group focused on ending abortion, and pro-life publication Prayer & Action News has called the assassination of abortionists justifiable homicide.[1]

Attacks include:

  • 29 November 2015 shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic by Robert Lewis Dear, Jr, who was described as strongly religious.[2]
  • Eric Robert Rudolph was associated with Christian Identity and motivated by opposition to abortion and homosexuality. He bombed an abortion clinic in 2008 killing an off-duty police officer working as a security guard, as well as killing 2 in a bombing at the Atlanta Olympics and attacking lesbian bars and another abortion clinic.[3]
  • James Charles Kopp was involved with militant Catholic organisation the Lambs of Christ and killed an American physician in 1998.[4]


The Troubles in Northern Ireland involve violence between two communities, one Catholic and pro-Irish and the other Protestant and pro-British. Religious figures have played a prominent role on both sides of the conflict.

Many other nationalist terrorist groups in Europe have come from Christian communities, such as Basques, Corsican nationalists, and even Welsh nationalists, but in most of these cases there is no sectarian or religious element to the conflict. The Serb-Croat war in the 1990s and recent conflict in Ukraine have pitted Catholic churches against Eastern Orthodox in conflicts involving guerilla action, murder of civilians, and war crimes, but religion has played a minor role.

White supremacy[edit]

While some white supremacists are pagans, atheists, or indifferent to religious topics, many tie their white identity to the religion of Christianity, in opposition particularly to the threat of Islam.

Some such as Anders Breivik focus their terrorist attacks on whites they believe are insufficiently sympathetic to their cause.

Others directly attack Muslims, or Sikhs they believe to be Muslims, or people of other religions or ethnicities.

Still other ethnically-based terrorist organisations, like the Ku Klux Klan, are strongly associated with religion (in the Klan's case, Protestantism, being anti-Catholic as well as hating almost everyone else).

Sub-Saharan Africa[edit]

A number of guerilla groups or militias have operated in troubled regions of Africa. The Lord's Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony is perhaps the most famous. Other groups whose members are predominantly Christian practice violence and brutality with less of an obvious religious message, including various Mai Mai organisations in DRC, and the Hutu guerilla group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.


One of the bloodiest wars in human history was the Taiping Rebellion in China in the mid 19th century, led by Hong Xiuquan who believed himself the younger brother of Jesus and, motivated by his eccentric understanding of the Bible, led an insurrection against the Chinese Empire.

Although most of south and southeast Asia is Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim, there are also predominantly Christian ethnic groups using terrorism in their struggle for a homeland. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland, who are classified as a terrorist organisation by the Indian government, have used violence in their attempts at self-determination.[5]