Religious cleansing

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Religious cleansing is a term sometimes used to refer to removal of a population from a certain territory based on its religion.[1] Throughout antiquity, population cleansing was largely motivated by economic and political factors, although ethnic factors occasionally played a role.[1] During the Middle Ages, population cleansing took on a largely religious character.[1] The religious motivation lost much of its salience early in the modern era, although until the 18th century ethnic enmity in Europe remained couched in religious terms.[1] Richard Dawkins has argued that the references to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq is a euphemism for what should more accurately be called religious cleansing.[2] According to Adrian Koopman, the widespread use of the term ethnic cleansing in such cases suggests that in many situations there is confusion between ethnicity and religion.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Ken Booth (2012). The Kosovo Tragedy: The Human Rights Dimensions. Routledge. pp. 50–51. 
  2. ^ a b Adrian Koopman (2016). "Ethnonyms". In Crole Hough. The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming. Oxford University Press. p. 256. (Subscription required (help)). 

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