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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson B: Life and Times in the Ottoman Empire

Opening: Religion in Today's World

Since the 7th century, Islam grew as a powerful religious and political force. Muslim leaders and their followers created empires in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia by conquering surrounding lands. However, religion also played an important role in the creation of Islamic empires.

In order to have a clear understanding of the role of religious forces, use the following exercise to remind yourself of the influence of religion. Each of the following newspaper headlines reflects the importance of religion in today's world.

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Classroom Activity - Religious Conflicts

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Directions: Read each of the newspaper headlines below, and the prepare a response to the discussion questions. Follow your teacher's directions to participate in your class discussion.

  • What religious conflicts exist in today's world?
  • How are governments involved in present-day religious conflicts?

Download Icon Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).


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Newspaper headline: Pope Answers Calls to Reform Catholic Church Newspaper headline: Islamic Fundamentalists Defend Holy War

Newspaper headline:  Muslim Leaders Call for End to Violence Newspaper headline: Hindus Still Fight for Rights in India

Newspaper headline: Catholics Still Split with Protestants in Ireland


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Written Activity - Notebook

Select one of the headlines from those discussed above, and respond to the following questions in your notebook:

  • What is the cause of this religious conflict in today's world?
  • How is government involved in this present-day religious conflict?
  • Why is it difficult to solve this conflict?