Time Essay: RELIGIOUS WARS A Bloody zeal

The scenes are macabre. Religious images adorn vehicles and guns as Christian soldiers, some of them wearing crosses around their necks, storm Moslem strongholds. Moslem soldiers, in their turn, strip or mutilate the bodies of dead Christian soldiers, tie them to cars and drag them through the streets. In the vicious war in Lebanon, religion is a palpable presence—though allegiances are complex and contradictory; some Christians are backing the leftist Palestinians, while the Syrians, mainly Moslem, support the rightist Christian forces. Still, the air crackles with a certain primitive energy of zealots...

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