This paper will look at the role religion played in shaping the individual movements of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Thich Nhat Hanh.

“History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily…. we know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed” -Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail.

“Under a government that imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also prison” -Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience.

“All violence is injustice. Responding to violence with violence is injustice, not only to the other person but also to oneself”-Thich Nhat Hanh, “Compassion as a Response to Violence.”

“It is not non-violence if we love merely those that love us. It is nonviolence only when we love those that hate us. I know how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love. But are not all great and good things difficult to do?” - Mahatma Gandhi, Letter to a friend in Selections from Gandhi.