Whether you’re a steadfast Christian or a hardcore atheist, you have the right to believe whatever it is that keeps you ticking. With the freedom of belief, however, comes a responsibility – the responsibility to respect other people’s beliefs in the same way that you expect other to respect your own.
Religious intolerance goes back to the beginning of time – as long as there have been humans, there has been religion; and as long there has been religion, there have been wars over it.
However, religious intolerance isn’t only large-scale war between massive groups of people, it also exists between small groups and individuals. This is commonplace pretty much all over the world, albeit in differing levels of severity and seriousness.
What Are the Causes Behind Religious Intolerance?
Religious intolerance can be caused by a plethora of different reasons, and sometimes, it’s a combination of a few. Here area few of the most common things that cause religious intolerance.
Often, political views have aligned with different religious groups. Thus, groups with different political views end up on opposing teams, with their religions being caught in the crossfire. Since religion tends to be very important to its believers, insulting somebody else’s religion is seen to be incredibly disrespectful, and is often used as a political tactic.
Directly Conflicting Beliefs
Probably the most common reason people end up fighting over religion is when different belief systems have different ideas on specific topics. For instance, how many Gods you ought to worship. For some, it is an intrinsic component of their faith to believe in and worship multiple Gods. However, for others, this is seen as incredibly disrespectful.
Often, this ends in disagreements and arguments, and sometimes, war.
Economic issues and opinions often align with different political viewpoints, which, as we’ve already discussed, have historically led to major conflict. Often, economic issues make up a significant proponent of political viewpoints.
Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for religious ideals and actions that occur as a result of religion to have an influence on economic issues. For those who oppose the subsequent effects on economics, the religion that has influenced the change is often targeted as the main problem. Thus, religious intolerance tends to follow, often ending in disastrous circumstances.
The Importance of Religious Tolerance
Being tolerant of other people’s religions is about respect. It’s not about accepting that somebody else’s beliefs are correct or better than yours – it’s a simple case of respecting the fact that everybody has the right to their own beliefs. Everyone has their own opinions, whether it’s about religion or the team that will win the FIFA World Cup 2022 trophy. As long as their beliefs don’t infringe on yours, and vice versa, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Religious tolerance is the idea that a person with one set of beliefs can understand acknowledge that another person’s beliefs are different to their own and may even be conflicting, however, they still respect the other person’s right to have them.
With proper religious tolerance, the world would be a far more peaceful place.