The following is not my belief. But I will discuss a perspective for conversion by force. 

The following is not my belief. But I will discuss a perspective for conversion by force.

Now the framing of the question is:
“Is a war just if it brings people to true religion?”

But let us imagine back in time to when religions were not considered religions but were considered truth.

In the 500s AD – I don’t remember the dates offhand – emperor Justinian came to power and decided to homogenize the empire. He closed the philosophy schools, banned “pagan” philosophies like Epicureanism, and threatened to confiscate properties of exile if they did not convert.

At the time, there was a significant amount of Epicurean communities scattered across the Eastern Roman Empire / Byzantium. Given a choice between losing their properties under a new ruler or putting a frosting of Christianity on top of their Epicurean communities to appear to have converted, they went with the latter. After all, there was a lot of compatibility between Epicurean friendship communities and Christianity, so it wasn’t so terribly difficult to slide over in appearance and it was not long before they simply were Christian monasteries and no longer linkable to Epicurius even while retaining most of the flavor of their communities.

So while this was not conversion by war, it was conversion by law and threat of penalty but it is similar.

Now let’s suppose Justinian’s drive was religious in nature and not simplification and homogenization of his empire (which included some really amazing feats of simplifying the arcane legal system of Roman Law and removing duplications, paradoxes, throwing out old unnecessary laws, and shrinking the body of Roman law down significantly).

Let us assume that he was a true believer, which he may well have been.

What is there in Christianity (since that was the religion he was converting them too) that might convince someone to want to convert everybody in their realm to?

What if the religion was not viewed as a nice tradition that has psychological benefits and community building but instead as MEDICINAL; life-saving even?

If the bread and wine DOES change into the body and blood of Christ; if all of time and space is connected at a singularity whereby every communion event is not split across time and space but is but a single cosmic event shared by all those who partake?  What if hellfire is not punishment for falling from the path but a NATURAL CONSEQUENCE of facing God’s Fire unprotected by the armor of Christ, whose Divine Nature being fully enacted by walking with Him and sharing in the same nature as the Father allows you partake in the energies of God even while not being able to come close to the uncreated essence – that a process of theosis rendered you truly “like Christ” and that you will bodily resurrect and live in eternity in the presence of God?

Well you would want to save as many people as possible!  If you knew a virus was going to infect and kill millions  you might want to tell everybody to put on a mask to protect each other. If you knew a volcano was erupting you might force people out of their homes against their will to save their lives rather than letting them die as “my choice”.

And with that kind of strong belief, forcing people to convert by whatever means might seem to be not only justified but absolutely moral and correct. You are actually truly and absolutely saving their lives, not only here but for all eternity.

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