Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or ethnic affiliations or even the lack thereof.
The tendency of societies or groups within society to alienate or repress different subcultures is a recurrent theme in human history. Moreover, because a person's religion or ethnicity often determines, to a significant extent, his or her morality and personal identity, religious differences can be significant cultural factors.
Religious/Ethnic persecution may be triggered by bigotry (i.e. the denigration of the practitioners' religion/ethnic group, other than those of the oppressors) or by the State when it views a particular religious group or community as a threat to its interests or security. At a societal level, this dehumanization of a particular religious group may readily turn into violence or other forms of persecution. Indeed, in many countries, religio-ethnic persecution has resulted in so much violence that it is considered a massive human rights problem.
Persecution can be considered the opposite of the freedom. It may also affect atheists in that they may be denounced as being amoral or be persecuted by the religious on the grounds that they are godless.
Often it is the alleged persecution of individuals within a group - in the attempt to maintain their religious identity, or the exercise of power by an individual or organization - that causes members of a religious group to suffer. Persecution in this case may refer to confiscation or destruction of property, incitement to hate, arrest, imprisonment, beatings, torture, and execution.
Other acts of violence, such as war, torture, and ethnic cleansing not aimed at religion in particular, may nevertheless take on the qualities of religious persecution when one or more of the parties involved are characterized by religious homogeneity; an example being when conflicting populations that belong to different ethnic groups often also belong to different religions or denominations. The difference between religious and ethnic identity might sometimes be obscure; cases of genocide of the 20th century cannot be explained in full by citing religious differences.
No religion/community is free from internal dissent, although the degree of dissent that is tolerated within a particular religious organization can strongly vary.
The bottom line seems to stem from intolerance, jealousy, and an inability to accept and respect a people of differing cultures and beliefs. The root cause stems from the basic fact that most religious leaders do not teach their parish to be tolerant and kind to those of other faiths. This situation is a product of the "Us and Them" hype that even the US President GWB once announced when he spoke against Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden after the 911 saga.
The Nazi's, Crusaders, Zionists, Taleban, Al Qaeda, RSS, and many other religious persecutors, from ancient times and also in recent years, have sown much hatred, distress, and mayhem across the earth. The Crisis in Africa are too many to even think about. Their only grievance seems to be the inability to live with those who are different to their own ways. This is totally unacceptable by any standards and must be destroyed without any form of sympathy or consolations. Governments are responsible to ensure that such groups and activities are not allowed on their soil.
We surely need a new world order to manage our planet.