Of religions and religious animosity

Photo Credit: Google

Why has the world suddenly become a place where followers of every religion are trying to prove that their religion is the best? Why this slapping of religions in your face? Why this religious suffocation and loud cry?

The basis of any religion is about the discipline it teaches us in our lives. The numinous experience which the believer associates with the god (supernatural power) is dominant in whatever culture he or she happens to believe in.

No religious text criticizes the other. No religion encourages criticism of others’ beliefs. Religions only teach you the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. (Morality, here, is subjective).

The conflict arises when you begin to interpret religious sayings/ teachings/beliefs in a way that you want to see/perceive them. We have our beliefs. We also have our religions and traditions that we diligently follow. But, are we so blinded by them that we have stopped questioning practices which divide us further? Have we lost our ability to think/question?

Religion can generate great personal commitment and passion, expressed as caring, love, respect, and support for others. It can motivate believers to dedicate their lives to the alleviation of suffering and need.

However, it can also motivate people to hate followers of other religions, women, secularists, persons with minority sexual orientations, transgender persons, transssexuals, etc. This can escalate into actions of harassment, conflict, oppression, murder, terrorism and genocide.

Today, the world suddenly looks like a federation of religions rather than a federation of (diverse) people. We now live in a world where respect for others is shown by praising their religious books, rather than by taking note of many-sided involvements and achievements, in non-religious as well as religious fields. Recent events across the world too depict a disturbing picture of increasing religious animosity and intolerance.

Have we lost our civility and tolerance that our belligerent behaviour and hostility towards other religions (and its followers) is harming them? Don’t we want a safe world for our kids where they learn to play with their peers without thoughts of ethnicity/religion/caste/class being injected into them?

May be, it is time for us to ponder over these questions and learn to accept realities and others’ beliefs. Each to his own.

Live and let live.

“All religions, all this singing one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot of different on this, but it’s still one light” – Rumi

Note to readers: No offence to any religion/follower. I respect your opinions and your faith.


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