Let me state for the record: I believe in God. I'm not to keen on organized religion though. How may people have been persecuted in the name of God? The Crusades of the eleventh centry is but one example: when the self-righteous Roman Catholic church deemed it necessary to try and convert all those Muslim infidels. Now, a thousand years later the tables are turned and the self-righteous Islamic fundamentalist are trying to eliminate the infidels. Religion can be a dangerous institution.
Oh, and to think that God is playing us like a pawn in a game of chess is ludicrous! What would be the point? We are not God's entertainment. He gave us free will and for the most part, imo, we have not used it wisely.
I am not a supporter of the Crusades, but I have read that the Muslims were invading and taking control of many countries before the Crusades. I heard that they told the people in those countries that they didn't have to convert to the Muslim religion but non-Muslims would not have the same rights as Muslims. Of course, most people decided to convert.