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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220527 Find in a Library
Title: In the Name of the Father?: Christian Militantism in Tripura, Northern Uganda, and Ambon
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:30  Issue:11  Dated:November 2007  Pages:963-983
Author(s): Jeroen Adam; Bruno De Cordier; Kristof Titeca; Koen Vlassenroot
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 21
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines three cases of nonstate armed actors who are committed to creating new local societies based in their Christian beliefs: the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NFLT), the Lord's Resistance Army in Northern Uganda, and the Ambonese Christian militias.
Abstract: From these three cases, several factors and trends are apparent. First, various forms of Christianity are instrumental in filling the sociocultural vacuum left by the social changes that are occurring in local societies. Religion thus provides a ready-made value and belief system for controlling change and providing a core foundation for an emerging new society. In the three cases, the processes of social change were caused by different factors, such as migration and land seizures (most prevalent in Tripura and to a lesser degree in Ambon), the loss of socioeconomic status inherited from colonial times, and subsequent marginalization and exclusion to the advantage of dominant out-groups. Although the process of "christianization" of social change and references to religion do not necessarily lead to radical religious behavior, the three case studies show that the potential for radicalization is higher in situations where socioeconomic differences are also translated into religious terms, which intensifies conflict. Second, the cases also show how Christianity serves other strategic functions, such as providing a basis for communal cohesion while distinguishing one's identifying beliefs and values from other groups competing for socioeconomic control. Third, religious radicalization has been fueled by "trigger" events that have widened existing rifts among groups. Fourth, there are indications that outside influence and manipulation have ideologically as well as logistically facilitated the rise of religious radicalism. 69 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Africa; Religion; Religiously motivated violence; Violence causes
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