• Buddhist scholars say there is no justification for war in Buddhist teaching.
  • Yet Buddhism has not always separated itself from war.
  • 621 CE – monks from the Shaolin Temple of China fought in a battle.
  • Centuries past, the heads of Tibetan Buddhist schools formed strategic alliances with Mongol warlords and reaped benefits from the warlords victories.
  • In Buddhism an act that sows the seed of harmful karma is regrettable even if it is unavoidable. These acts are akusala (‘unwholesome’ ‘unskilful’).
  • Sometimes Buddhists fight to defend their nations, homes and family. This is not “wrong”.
  • To harbour hate for ones enemy is still a poison.
  • Buddhist morality is based on principles expressed in the Precepts and the Four Immeasurables – loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity (Calmness and composure).
  • Yet it is neither ‘good’ nor ‘righteous’ to stand aside whilst innocent people are slaughtered.
  • The Buddha did not teach His followers to surrender to any form of evil power be it a human or supernatural being.




Jesus as a pacifist:

  • ‘Turn the other cheek’ Matthew 5:39
  • ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ Mark 12:31
  • “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all those who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Matthew 26:52

Violence expressed by Jesus:

  • ‘he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables’ – Jesus Clears the Temple Courts, John 2:13-22
  • ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword.’ Matthew 10:34