This violence is not just based on religion, but has its history in years of Protestant, (British), majority oppressive rule over the minority Catholics, ( Irish ). But they always identify themselves in the conflict by their religious sect. The hatred runs very deep historically, starting as far back as 1609 when the English settlers, known as, "Planters", confiscated land from the native Irish population. Two bloody wars soon developed : The Irish Confederate Wars, 1641 - 1653, and the Williamite War, 1689 - 1691. More recently in a period known as the, " Troubles", 1969 - 1998, about 3,500 people died. This finally led to an agreement to share power in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
We see this same type of sectarian violence, all the time, between the Shiite community, and the Sunni community in the Muslim religion. This hatred goes back hundreds of years as well, and has left thousands dead or maimed over the centuries. All this violence, all these deaths, over differing views on how to pray to the same God. It just does not make any sense to me.
I see the same type of divisions starting to happen in our religion as well. There are so many people on - line who seem to get very angry whenever someone else's ideas don't match their own interpretation of our religion. I also see some factions,(sects), being totally shut out, or restricted, by organizations and associations. Mainly I am speaking about those who honor the Jotuns, and / or, Loki and his children. Though I would never personally honor the Jotuns, Loki, etc.., I will stand side by side with this group, and defend their right to honor them, and try to protect them from exclusion. There is, in my opinion, plenty of room in our religion to fit every group in comfortably. What there is no room for is hate and violence. As a religion that has suffered so much discrimination through the centuries, we need to raise our tolerance level, and open our arms, and hearts, to all those who call themselves Asatru. To not do so makes us no better than those who destroyed our ancestor's religion !
Will we break into seperate factions at some point, and turn differing viewpoints into anger, and anger into hatred, and hatred into violence ? Only time will tell if we are strong enough as a people and a religion to be different, ( BETTER), than the other major religions. Can we avoid the countless mistakes that they have made over the centuries and learn from their blunders ? One hundred, maybe two hundred years from now should be enough time for our religion to develop and mature, and hopefully in that time we will decide the correct path to take. I hope for our descendants sake it is a different path than the one our Muslim and Christian friends have taken !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !