Justice, as a command of God to man, is described as a virtue in the three sacred books of
monotheism, the Old Testament of Jews, the New Testament of Christians and the
Quran of Muslims.
-“And what does
the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy
to walk humbly with your God.”
inhabitants of the world learn righteousness”
are those who are persecuted because of righteousness...”
are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...”
orders justice, kindness and good conduct”,
commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between
people to judge with justice”,
loves those who act justly”,
I would like to
be able to contend that our religions remain today humans’ hope for salvation
from their contemporary problems. However, faced with harsh reality, we are
prevented from being optimistic about the future. Indeed, some people even
argue that religions, as official organisations, are dying. The younger
generations are seen to take their distance from the religious tradition of
the latest Religious Landscape Study by the Pew Research Forum, the percentage
of Americans who believe in God, attend religious services and pray daily has
declined significantly during the last eight years, especially among
Twice as many
high school seniors, and 3 times as many college students, described their
religion as “none” in the 2010s.
In social life,
for various reasons, personal life becomes increasingly secular, and God, or
rather religiosity, is drifting away from people's personal lives. Younger
people are not as religious as their parents. In other words, most of us are
more concerned with physical matters and
money and less with the spirit, with faith, and with
the will and Word of God. Faith
in God is lost and reason mainly prevails. Faith in miracles is diminishing and science takes over to the exclusion of all else. In a world of pure matter without
the spirit, in a world of reason without
faith, the people of religion, religious leaderships, and clergy have not
remained unaffected. Spirituality is losing ground to the allure of secularisation.
As a result, religions are reasonably accused of being organisations of human
exploitation, rather than organisations of spiritual
redemption and charity, and of being transformed
into means for controlling populations, with essentially
political aspirations at play in league with
purely human authorities, not at all concerned with
defending divine commands and the moral order, revealed
through the Holy or Sacred Scriptures and the Sacred Traditions, including the words of the saints and prophets.
Finally, this prevalence of reason and science did
not bring about more Justice. On the international scene, rivalry and hatred
continue. The sacred places of God's worship, synagogues, churches and mosques have become targets
of terrorist attacks, and the faithful gathered there become victims to the
religiously intolerant, who attacked them because they believed that “infidels” of any other religion, save
their own, should be killed. What is different becomes hateful, rather than
against the other dogma, the other religion.
Divisions, sects, and rivalries exist
even within the same religious group. This can only mean that modern man could
not accept the different as is; could not accept the fellow man who believes or
worships God in a different way. This means that mankind could not learn from
the mistakes of the past.
inter-religious, international meetings and dialogues, involving
theologians, religious leaders and scholarly
experts in the humanities, politics, and social sciences, are indeed a
ray of hope and truly worthwhile.
It is imperative
to find the flaw, wherever it may be. It is necessary to apply self-criticism
and take the right course before it is too late. God cannot be at fault. It is us humans who have faults. So representatives and leaders, both religious and
political, have a great responsibility.
God is the
Creator of us all, who wants and seeks His Justice for all of us. And those of us who invoke our priesthood or the
faith in the One and true God, are especially
obliged to seek the will of God and His Justice and apply it to our
However, does this Justice exist in the sphere of
of concepts is always a basic tool of understanding, both in theology and
philosophy and in science.
A. The Justice of God is often at odds with the so-called justice of men. Above all, it is central to His very nature. It is
the way that God exists. It is the righteousness to which the prophet Isaiah
refers to, saying “the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness”,
In the history of ancient Israel, the matter of
justice is of particular importance. The forefather Abraham is the first to be
characterised as righteous. It is, however, important to understand why Abraham
is characterised as righteous. The fact is that the forefather Abraham is
characterised as righteous, not because he did something, but because he
believed. It is this faith that made him righteous. He
trusted in the One who called him and submitted in trust to His call. This is
According to Apostle Paul, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted
unto him for righteousness” In other words, the faith of Abraham, counted as
Since faith is identified as righteousness, when we seek the Justice
of God in the sphere of religion we seek faith in God.
We, therefore, cannot assume that justice can flourish in its own power and wisdom, apart
from faith in God. This
Divine Justice is fixed and
trustworthy, unlike merely human laws,
which are susceptible to change
according to ungodly agendas.
B. Secular and Divine Justice
The famous ascetic and church scholar, St.
Isaac the Syrian, says: “Do not say God is just” because according to human
justice, God is unjust. In other words, we have no
exalted position from which to evaluate the justice of God. He sets the
standard and does the judging; not we, and we must not presume otherwise. He is
the potter; we’re the clay, not entitled to judge his ways.
establishment of any religious organization
implies, at the same time, an interest in flourishing and coexisting
with political and state authorities. This human effort uses the means of
imposing laws and regulations, which are often created without any reference to
the will of God and His orders. This sometimes
leads to alienating a religious organisation
from the will of God. Faith in God may be completely forgotten, and therefore, His will can be ignored. Even people of faith can
be abused by authorities who have lost their bearings on the righteousness and
mercy of God. We even have the ugly spectacle of people arbitrarily invoking the name of God to commit murder. These are the
unrighteous “faithful,” who think that they apply the Justice of God on their
own, but at the same time become killers, terrorists, and
degradation of man - without God - is also the strongest proof that human
justice cannot exist independently, without true faith in God, which is the
Justice of God.
a Religion comes down to losing faith in God, then by definition it is also
deprived of Justice. Religion without the Justice of God may even produce crime in God’s name, because, to quote Dostoevsky, “Without God, everything is
C. Religious and political powers. Religion as power.
The loss of
faith and God’s Justice can have uncontrollable adverse effects on society, in
terms of not only personal life, but also impacting
political and state authorities and all forms of leadership,
including the religious.
In other words:
If the behaviour of one religious person without faith and justice becomes
dangerous, the establishment of regimes, both
political and religious, becomes exponentially
dangerous for all humanity. There are many instances of bloody religious warfare in history. Unfortunately, in our times,
the phenomenon is repeated and the coating of religiosity
is used for crimes against humanity. The reason lies in the fact that we have
religious or civil-military leaders who
operate without faith in God and without God’s Justice. Religious leaderships
have enormous responsibility when participating in such processes, taking great care not to generate alibis for the
crimes of civil and military authorities against humanity. The explosive mix of
political power and Godless religious leadership becomes the most dangerous
combination to be found.
of fear, as a tool for the imposition of a religious perspective,
wherever it may be applied, is an entirely unacceptable
practice. Indeed, as the Quran teaches, “There is
no compulsion in religion.”
And as the Apostle Paul says, “We seek to persuade
men [and not coerce or intimidate them].”
Otherwise, their spiritual choices would lack integrity. Moreover, God,
the Creator and Father, always seeks love and not fear, because God Himself is
D. Freedom of religion and freedom of worship.
constitutional right in the modern system of justice is the freedom of religion
and worship, which is, of course, a fundamental principle of human rights.
God’s “omnipresence” and the respect to the
ultimate freedom of every man to pray and worship God as they wish, guide us to
respecting this sensitive human behaviour, which is the free expression of
family upbringing, and state legislation, as
well as religious leadership, must protect the free expression of one's
a person who expresses their faith, who prays to God in the manner they think
fit and appropriate, cannot be accepted by anyone and any reason. Indeed, men who invoke faith in God cannot combine
said faith with the simultaneous prohibition of the worship of God to the
faithful of other doctrines or other religious groups, insisting
that the “others” are infidels and therefore enemies who must neither pray nor
Those of us who
confess our faith in the true God ought to be pioneers in matters of protecting
the freedom of individuals to express their
religious beliefs and worship.
gathering of faithful in order to Worship God, as an asset protected by law, should never be proscribed, either by a religious official or by the participating
faithful. The right to the freedom of religious and worship expression is one
of the fundamental, protected Human Rights, enumerated
in the Charter of the United Nations, the European Convention on Human Rights
and in national Constitutions.
Those who are abused for this cause, who suffer specific injustices for the sake of
protecting religious liberty, should
be considered blessed, for Jesus Christ says, “Blessed
are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake...”
Those who are faithful to God but are persecuted and suffer, should
not to forget that God works in other ways, with
different criteria, unknown to us. His Justice is and operates beyond the
limitation of time, in the perspective of
eternity. But we are judged on our behavior within
the boundaries of time, and within that context,
we have no
right to be persecutors, even when the unrighteous persecute us.
Those who want
each Religion to exist and to address the
existential problems of modern man, should acknowledge that the Justice of God
must be basic in every organization, in every member
of the clergy. This is the only way we can talk about Religion with Justice
and virtue—not a Religion of hatred and vice, which we all want to avoid.
(International Conference, Mashhad, Iran, 30 Jan. 2019)
4:58, The Noble Quran, Kaktos Publishing, 2017, Athens, p. 127).