In "Killing in the Name of God" {op-ed, Oct. 16}, Sen. John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), who is an ordained Episcopal priest, blamed the religious community for not doing enough about violence around the world. The blame was misplaced because it failed to address the socio-political and economic reasons that underpin the violence we see in the world today.

Religious leaders cannot be expected to voice condemnation every time people, in desperation, react violently to a tyrannical situation in which they are subjected to inequality and prejudice. The world has come a long way from the times when religion was used by the state to justify crimes against humanity, including slavery, colonialism and genocide. Given this record, today's religious organizations in the West are very responsible.

Further, the article contained a number of wild generalizations, platitudes and invalid assertions. For example, religions were addressed as entities outside the domain of politics, when no such distinction is recognized by many great world religions. The article ignored the root causes of violence: injustice, oppression and racism. However, violence was described in generic and rather anachronistic terms that are not consistent with the reality of the unjustness inherent in the prevailing world order. The implicit argument that it is fanaticism if the world's downtrodden take up arms to thwart oppressors and their agents is hypocritical.

If the senator wishes to lend his considerable influence and prestige to the cause of world peace, he should examine closely how the secular centers of powerful governments exercise that power around the globe. He would then realize that any shortcomings religious leaders may have are only symptomatic of the spiritual delinquency of the larger societies whence they come. ALI A. FATAH Washington