Church

How Religion Cuts Crime

    • Study found people who visit places of worship commit fewer crimes
    • The more frequent the visits, the lower the chance of delinquent behaviour
    • Crimes ranged from littering and music piracy up to the use of illegal drugs

This much, we already well know:

People who regularly visit a place of worship are less likely to get involved in low level crime and delinquency, according to new research.

A survey from Manchester University found a direct correlation between higher visits to religious places and lower crime figures, especially in relation to shoplifting, drug use and music piracy.

Researchers believe this is because religion not only teaches people about ‘moral and behavioural norms’, but also spending time with like-minded people makes it less likely they’ll get mixed up with the ‘wrong crowd’…

Although the study found varying degrees of correlation between increased church visits and decreased crime rates, the most significant were seen in relation to shoplifting, the use of illegal drugs and music piracy.

The researchers did not include more serious, high-level crimes because they ‘were too rare for the data to be able to show a significant pattern.’

Read more here.

 

Church

Kalashnikov ‘Repented Killings’ in Letter to Church

Yes, the AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova) has historically been the weapon of choice for terrorists and other evildoers. More AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined. Now, the Telegraph is reporting that,

The creator wrote a lengthy emotional letter to Russian Orthodox Church to repent in the months before his death in December.

Mikhail Kalashnikov presents the submachine gun named after him

The designer of the Kalashnikov assault rifle was apparently so racked with guilt that he sought solace from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to express remorse for those killed by his invention.

In a lengthy letter to Patriarch Kirill, Russia’s chief cleric, written just six months before his death in December Mikhail Kalashnikov described struggling with the “unbearable spiritual torment” of knowing the carnage the AK-47 rifle wreaked upon the world.

“My spiritual torment is unbearable. One and the same question: if my rifle killed people does that mean that I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, 93 years of age, the son of a peasant, Christian and orthodox by faith, am responsible for people’s deaths, even if they were enemies?” He wrote.

Mr Kalashnikov, who died on December 23 at the age of 94, began designing weapons after being wounded in battle during the Second World War.

He later blamed the Nazis for prompting him to invent the AK-47, the assault rifle that sired a family of weapons that has been called Russia’s most successful global brand.

But while he was known to have expressed regret at how it had been misused, Mr Kalashnikov always publicly defended his invention, saying in successive interviews that he had designed it only to be used in defence of the country.

Born and bred in the Soviet Union, and later a national hero of the fiercely secular Communist state, Mr Kalashnikov was for most of his life an atheist.

But in his letter to Kirill, which was reproduced by the Russian daily Izvestia on Monday morning, the aging designer explained how he turned to God as he grew older.

Mr Kalashnikov wrote that he his conversion began with the sense of “excitement” he felt when he first entered a church at the age of 91, later being baptised into the Orthodox faith.

A spokesman for the Church said Patriarch Kirril had welcomed the letter and even written a reply.

“This letter was very welcome at a time of attacks on the Church. The Patriarch thanked the legendary designer for his attention and position and answered that Mikhail Timofeevich was himself an example of patriotism and appropriate attitude to the country,” Patriarch Kirill’s spokesman Alexander Volkov told the paper.

And he added that from the Church’s point of view Mr Kalashnikov had little to repent for, at least as far as his invention is concerned.

“The Church has a very definite position: when weapons serve to protect the Fatherland, the Church supports both its creators and the soldiers who use it,” Volkov said.

“He invented that weapon for the defence of the country, not for the use of Saudi Arabian terrorists,” he added.

Wikipedia has more on Lt Gen Mikhail Kalashnikov here.