The history of the mankind is not only the one of the development and great inventions; it is also the history of wars. Since prehistoric times, different nations have been fighting with each other and very often the announced reason for it was the religion. We can easily remember the Crusades, which were nothing but a war between Christians and Muslims, civil conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in England and Northern Ireland, wars between the Sunnis and the Shiites in Muslim countries. Observing all this, it is easy to come to the conclusion that religion often causes wars. But personally I strongly disagree with this opinion.
There are only two basic reasons for a war. It always starts either because of money or because of power. The Crusades started because the European aristocracy and the Pope wanted to increase their wealth and conquering Palestine seemed an easy solution. Moreover, the Pope wanted to broaden the limits of the power of the Catholic church by converting numerous Jews and Muslims to Christianity. All the other wars with the religious background can be analyzed in a similar way and there would always be found a party, which took the financial or political advantage. However, religion has always been a wonderful pretext, as it makes soldiers, who are supposed to die, feel prouder and fight more enthusiastically, as dying in the name of the god is always more meaningful than in the name of a greedy king, who wants to get another piece of land or a couple of additional jewels to a crown.
So, to my mind, religion has nothing to do with wars. The only thing that unites them is the meticulous calculations of those who are interested in improving their financial state and use the pretext of religion to make murders acceptable.