it can very well be figured out that religion indeed has a far greater impact on the manner in which the country’s political and social environment takes shape. John J. Macionis defined religion as "A social institution involving beliefs and practices based on a conception of the sacred." Therefore, it is bound to have an impact on the manner in which the rulers of a country try to shape their political philosophy, because that what they consider to be good for their country and the people. If we take a look around, we can figure out a number of skirmishes taking place amongst groups, societies and countries. Religion seems to be one of the factors shaping the opinions and the behaviors of the people involved in the conflicts. It is a fact that no religion teaches hatred or intolerance towards other people in the society, but the manner in which the religious teachings are portrayed often impacts the social behavior. If we take a look at the Middle East conflict, we find a deep divide amongst the followers of the two religions. The Middle East conflict between Israel and its neighbors, on the lines of religious beliefs, goes back to almost a century, but conflict has escalated more during the last over 60 years. The political spectrum in both the territories has been coming out with policies commensurate with their stated positions all this while. Despite efforts from different corners, the conflict is nowhere near to any solution even now. Now, terrorism, the dreaded word, also finds some of its threads attached to this conflict. But the net outcome of such conflict has not favored any particular country or territory. People from both the sides have suffered immensely and the developmental issues have been hit adversely but the irony is, even the newer generation on both the sides doesn't seem to have a say in resolving the conflict amicably.
If we take a look at a country like Pakistan, we find that this Islamic nation has been in the news in recent days, for all the wrong reasons. The country has been under tremendous pressure from the Islamic clerics for quite some time now. Though the present regime came into power after a democratic process of elections during the recent past, but it also need to be remembered that Pakistan has had brushes with democracy in the past as well. In the past, there have a number of Military coups, taking over the reins of power in the country. Despite best efforts from some of the rulers of Pakistan, the religious bodies have always tried to dictate terms for framing policies, and it goes without saying that on many occasions such religious bodies have been able to have an upper hand. The recent incidents in Swat valley of Pakistan have raised many concerns about the future of democratic set up in the country. In order to restore peace in the region, the Pakistani government decided to hand over this valley, better known as 'Switzerland of Pakistan' to some of the religious heads on 15th of February2. From that day onward Islamic laws have come into force in the region, which implies many significant departures from the erstwhile democratic principles. It is quite apparent that the religion, being practiced by majority of the people in Pakistan had the upper hand in deciding about the future of the Swat valley.
America is considered an icon of democracy all over the world. People from many faiths from around the world have made this country as their home. The policies and principles of the government provide full respect to all religions. But, if we are to point out the religion enjoying the best patronage, we'll come to the conclusion that it is indeed the Christianity. During the