holy war


holy war

noun

: a war that is fought to defend or spread one group's religious beliefs

Full Definition of HOLY WAR

:  a war or violent campaign waged by religious partisans to propagate or defend their faith

First Known Use of HOLY WAR

1639

holy war

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any war fought by divine command or for a primarily religious purpose. The concept is found in the Bible (e.g., the Book of Joshua) and has played a role in many religions. The Crusades are Europe's best-known example. In Islam, the concept is called jihad. Wars in which religion plays a secondary or exacerbating role are not generally called holy wars.

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