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Multiple empires were able to rise to power and expand their borders by utilizing advances in gunpowder weaponry.
This would also increase tensions between religion. The Ottoman Empire, which was primarily made up of Sunni Muslims fought both Christians in Europe and the Shi'ite Safavid Empire to their east.
In the Mughal Empire, the divide between the Hindu majority and the Islamic upper class was constantly felt, regardless of how well its leaders handled it.
At the same time, the Protestant Reformation led to numerous new sub-sects of Christianity, many of which derided others as heretics.