The world has always known war and conflict. When there were only two people in existence in the Garden of Eden, sin brought conflict into their lives.
The cursed effects transferred to their children. The first murder happened when their son Cain killed his brother Abel. Cain lived his life as an exiled refugee from his own people.
According to Globalsecurity.org[i] there are presently 36 conflicts raging in the world. This includes wars, insurgencies, civil unrest, genocides, etc.
The Nobel Prize website indicates that the form of war today is shifting.
War did not decline during the course of the 20th century, but there were some remarkable changes regarding the types of war that were fought. From 1900 to 1910, wars of all categories were represented rather evenly, whereas from 1990 to 2000 most were civil wars. Today there are few interstate wars with clearly defined parties, but civil wars have become increasingly internationalized. Few internal wars today take place without the intervention of foreign states. One illustrative example is the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where as many as five neighboring states are involved. The shift from interstate to civil war is perhaps the most significant change that has occurred in the last century. Of course civil wars have always existed, but only recently have they become the dominant type of war. [ii]
There may be complex reasons why civil war is the dominant form of massive conflict. Could it be that people are more easily offended by the enemy close at hand than by some invading foreign power?
Are there more wars today than previous centuries? The answer is a qualified ‘yes’. There are more conflicts, but also a multiplication of world population. More people equates to more wars. I believe the problem can be reduced microscopically to the number one. Every ‘one’ is engaged in some form of conflict. We are at war with God, with ourselves and/or with someone else. Everyone has turmoil at some level.
Just yesterday, I received an email from someone who was offended by something I said to them fifteen years ago. They wrote to let me know that they had become embittered and now wanted to forgive me. The sad truth is that I had long forgotten what the issue was and did not know they were so affected. I hope that we can have a healthy resolve and establish peace between us.
I wonder how many wars and rebellions have raged over an escalated offense involving just a handful of people.