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Christ and the Buddha The sight of a Buddhist monk who had set himself on fire in protest of the Vietnam War is one of the most disturbing images of the 20th Century It represents the lengths to which someone was willing to go in order to stop what most considered a senseless war Whether his political statement was heeded or not it showed his willingness to sacrifice his own life to save the lives of others The powerful image of Jesus of Nazareth nails driven through his both his hands and feet hanging on a cross to meet his death is also one of the most distressing images ever to be viewed Catholics around the globe hold their messiah in unparalleled regard for his unwavering faith and dedication to his god The sacrifice of his life was the foundation for what would become one of the largest religions in the world Both the Buddhist monk and Jesus understood the importance of sacrifice for the greater good of their communities This unifying value selflessness is one of the major themes that plays an important role in both Buddhism and Catholicism These two powerhouse religions are often times at polar opposites in their views and in the same sense their similarities can sometimes be described as uncanny The influence that they both have on society is so vast that the comparison of the two is integral to understanding the relationship between religion and civilization The interaction between individual religions has been the cause of more bloodshed than any political agenda in the history of the world Whether the lynching of the Mormons in Illinois or the persecution of the Jews during WWII the peaceful nature of religion has unfortunately been riddled with hateful acts The structure of most belief systems includes the fact that there is one and only one true religion The Roman Catholics believe that their god is the only god and
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