In the Name of God: When Faith Turns to Terror

Often a sweet refuge, faith can also become a fortress of merciless hatred

Greg Smith / Corbis

April 19, 1993: Smoking fire consumes the Branch Davidian Compound during the FBI assault to end the 51-day standoff with cult leader David Koresh and his followers

THOSE WHO GLORIFY THE IDEA OF THE WORLD turning into a global village may not know much about the behavior of people in villages. Sometimes, as Cervantes understood, "there is more harm in a village than is dreamt of."

In any case, the global village -- proliferating now into a planetary city, with a few luxurious districts, and many terrible slums, and some neighborhoods that are savage and very dangerous -- has no police force. The people of Bosnia know this. What the global community does have is many churches. Sometimes it is the faithful of the churches, and the mosques,...

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