Issues Raised For Religion By A Multi-Faith Society

Religion & Community Cohesion Revision

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Many religions see it as their duty to convert everyone because:

  • They believe that their religion is the only true religion.
  • They believe that the only way for the followers of each religions to get to heaven is for them to be converted.
  • Their holy books teach them that they should convert non-believers.

Trying to convert other religions can cause major problems because:

  • Treating people differently because of their religion and trying to convert other religions is discriminating against those who do not have the same faith as you.
  • It is impossible to say all other religions are wrong unless you have studied all of them and no one who is trying to convert others has done this.
  • Trying to convert others can lead to arguments and even violence when people are told their religion is wrong.
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Bringing Up Children

A multi-faith society requires everyone (including children) to have religious freedom and be able to choose which religion to follow, or to reject religion. It also requires that children should learn about the different religions in the society. This causes problems for many religious believers because:

  • Most religious encourage parents to ensure that their children are brought up in their religion and become members of it.
  • Most religions teach that only those who follow their religion will have a good life after death, and parents worry what will happen to their children after death if they do not stay in their religion.
  • Social and peer pressures compel parents to exert pressure on their children to remain in the faith.
  • Children educated in state schools are tempted away from religious lifestyles into the lifestyles of other non-religious teenagers.
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Interfaith Marriages

In a multi-faith society, young people of different faiths are going to meet, fall in love and want to marry. This can raise problems because:

  • Often both couples must be members of the same religion to have a religious wedding ceremony.
  • There is a question of which religion the children of the marriage will be brought up in.
  • There is also the problem of what will happen to the couple after death. If the husband is Christian and the wife Hindu, will the husband go to heaven and the wife be reborn?
  • The parents and relatives of the couple often feel that they have been betrayed.

Unless these issues are dealt with, then religion itself can be working against community cohesion and promoting conflict and hatred.

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