Firstly, with regard to Judaism, the oldest of the three, it can and should be noted that this has been a religion that has traditionally be restricted to a particular ethnicity; namely individuals of Jewish decent/ancestry (Hartnell 61). Within such a manner, it is quite obvious to note the political nature of such a religion in that it provides a level of cohesion between a given race and helps to define that which is “other” within the external environment.
By means of contrast and comparison, the next religion, within the chronological time-scale is that of Christianity. Due to the fact that Christianity is by its very nature a religion that encourages a degree of evangelism, the level to which the religion has been co-opted by many as a political tool to spread power and influence has been immense. Looking back into history, the first example of this that can be noted is with respect to Constantine and the manner through which he enlarged the Roman Empire of the time by de facto baptizing his legions and creating a forced conversion that drastically changed the nature of the way in which Christianity was defined.
Further, when one considers Islam, the directives of Mohammed were clear that this religion should serve as a growing and all encompassing religion; one that prophecy dictated the entire world would convert to before the end of times. As Muslim traders journeyed around the Middle East and into parts of North Africa and the Indian subcontinent, they brought their religion with them; partly as a means of encouraging a degree of cohesion amongst the newly conquered peoples and partly as a means of fulfilling the need and requisite command to bring further individuals to the faith.
Although each of these religions is no doubt quite different from its counterparts, they are nonetheless all similar with respect to