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To What Extend Religious Beliefs And Practices Should Be Tolerated In Various Countries

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For this research report I will be exploring what extend religious beliefs and practices should be tolerated in various countries. It is crucial to analyze this issue in depth because of all the uncertainty amongst people when it comes to religion. Where to draw the line between someone’s belief and something that could potentially disturb societies of people. Views range from extremely negative behaviors to positive behaviors. To fully comprehend the extent of this issue, we will be looking at case studies from many perspectives from different religions and how they might affect a countries tolerance. These include extremists, uncommon religious groups and the mainstream religious like Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. It is an issue that has been in debate for a very long time as everyone has once in their life pondered about their existence. Why are they here? Who put them here? What is their purpose in life?

Some have chosen to believe in a religious, some have in science, others don’t believe in anything. Faith gives people something to trust and hold onto when they have nothing left. It gives people an ethical and moral compass on their actions and gives people a more optimistic view on life. However there is a whole other side to this issue like cults ISIS that cause society harm through sacrifices or gruesome activities. This is worthy of study because you can come up with solutions and learn more about what people believe in and if it should be allowed in modern society.

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Global

Throughout time religion has been the cause of conflict, often due to disagreement of their faith claims. For example, in 1095, the Crusades. The Crusades were a course of multiple religious wars between the Christians and Muslims to gain control over holy sites in the England. It started when the Muslims captured Jerusalem, the most sacred institute for Christians.

An example of a modern day Crusade are riots that took place in Egypt towards the end of 2016, this included throwing rocks, stabbings and arson attacks. 5,000 Muslims attacked a group of Christians as they were building a church in Baidaa. The Christians fully stripped a 70 year old woman and dragged her mercilessly through the streets of Asem for her son was having an affair with a Muslim woman. This issue exists because both sides try to be the superior religion when being compared to another. The short term negative consequences are that people become homeless and traumatized as all of the fires, arson and crime probably destroyed homes and also injured innocent bystanders. Many stakeholders would view this differently, for example, a governor of Egypt would be very worried as this riot brings the reputation of the whole country down. However, to certain people of the same religious as the people rioting could perhaps feel proud or happy. In March 20, 1995, Tokyo faced a gas attack by a doomsday cult called Aum Shinrikyo. A doomsday cult is a group of people believing in an apocalyptic crisis soon to come or those trying to start it. In the subway of Tokyo, 13 were killed in a sarin gas attack released during rush hour. The leader of the cult, Shoko Asahara, claims to be the savior of the world and his followers would be spared from the end of the world. They did this because they thought the media and the public were after them and they claimed that killing someone because they directly opposed them was only “fair game.” This wasn’t their main belief, but it fit in nicely because their overall faith was immanent Armageddon. Both of the case studies I have mentioned both contain extreme behavior. This shows that religion has a potential to harm people for its own benefit. After the Aum gassings, there was bound to be some sort of low tolerance towards religious groups in the long term as it caused harm to many people.

Another example of extreme behavior is a religious group of terrorists called ISIS. This association has conducted 143 attacks in 29 different countries, killing over 2000 people all while spreading terror to many other countries around the world. This is very similar to what happened in the 1900’s when the Nazi’s in Germany tried spreading their beliefs. Their most recent attack was the massive Paris bombings when ISIS lead out a coordinative bombing at different locations in northern Paris killing 130 people. ISIS isn’t just a group full of mentally ill psychos killing for pleasure. They have an ulterior motive, which is to spread the Caliphate. That is the reason for all their attacks and the reason they go around terrorizing other countries. The Caliphate is a state under the ruling of an Islamic administrator. They plan to make the whole world one day obey Islam by invading their countries, establishing fear and converting them all to Islam by force. Some middle-eastern countries ISIS has already converted and added into the Caliphate include Nigeria, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a problem for many stakeholders around the world, for example, senators of countries, they would want to stop this immediately as this increases the risk of their countries citizens dying. However, religion isn’t only all bad. Another perspective on religion is very positive. There are many cases in which religion helped many get through things. One of the best examples are service groups like Christian Aid and Islamic Relief. In the past year, the Christian Aid has reached across 26 countries and helped over 1.2 million people, helped over 100,000 people in Nigeria get food and water and helped reduce gender based violence in the Huila Province. Whereas Islamic Relief has helped over 180,000 families escape poverty and earn a steady income to run a family, provided an education for over 320,000 individuals and sponsored over 80,000 kids.

National

A recent news report shows a cult called “The Church of Almighty God” located in China murdered a woman. This cult is a group of women who believe that Jesus was resurrected as a woman in China and they were the “demon killers”. This cult has recently beaten a women to death in a local fast food restaurant for refusing to give them her phone number after they thought she was possessed by an evil spirit or the devil. After the incident many churches reportedly started forming around the world in many places such as Italy. These sorts of acts are the reasons countries start getting more tolerant and strict by keeping close eyes on these cults/religions. On March 1st 2014, an attack was organized in the Kunming train station located in Kunming, China. This was an organized knife attack organized by 8 perpetrators said to be Muslim extremists. Out of 8, 4 were shot dead on the scene while the rest were executed for intentional homicide. This would affect the tolerance of the Chinese government as they would make it lower. They do not want the public becoming more scared and worried for more terrorist attacks like this. Even if there is no clear reason why this happened, it still plays a big part in China’s tolerance towards religion as a whole.

Courses Of Action (Solutions)

  1. Ban any cult that causes harm to people, not religion
  2. At this moment, there are many worried countries that have been affected by religious terrorism or attacks. Their tolerance has become very low as they consider the whole religion to be terrorists, when in fact it is just a certain group of people also known as a cult that takes it too far and commits crimes “for their religion.”

    Instead we should ban those cults they harm the public and punish them severely. This way countries can be more vigilant in spotting out cults and religious terrorist groups instead of watching everyone. Religion should be for people to celebrate and learn from, not feared.

  3. Educate people
  4. My second solution involves stopping religious violence that disturbs countries from a young age, school. Governments of different countries should start heavily encouraging the educating of religion at schools because this can help the child learn things that are acceptable or not acceptable in terms of religious activities. As long as it doesn’t harm anyone, it is okay to practice it. Kids need to learn from an early age on what’s good and bad so other things don’t influence them as much later on in their lives, leading to less religious violence and countries being more tolerant. It is proven by the Ramey & Ramey 2004 case study that teaching kids from an early age is really good because from when you are born to the age 5 is when you start to develop thinking foundation.

  5. Make Laws / Make leader to speak to devotees
  6. My third solution to the issue of countries tolerance would be to just ban all the extremist groups and cults all around the world by writing a new law and by contacting that specific religions leader. Each religion has to reinstate what it’s about, not the violence or abuse, instead talking about the values of the religion itself. Every religion has a leader that they all listen to, for example the Pope of Catholic churches. All the leaders of different religions should talk about extremists and religious violence to their devotees. Try to get them to not do it or prevent other people from doing it as a team. This may help stop a lot of terrorist attacks or acts of violence for religion in many countries.

Conclusion

I feel that countries have a right in being less tolerant nowadays because of all the violence from religion occurring in many places. However, during this research process I have learned about how terrorism doesn’t come from a religion, but instead it comes from cults that are “doing it for the religion.” My idea on this issue is that it can only be solved when we are all on the same page. We all know what is considered right and what is considered wrong. This will take time as many people are confused and thinking about it all wrong. My role in this issue is spreading the awareness about the difference between religions and cults and make people look at all the good deeds religions have done compared to the bad. I have talked about the good and bad things that have happened because of religion and some solutions to it. The question of my research project is “To what extent does tolerance towards religious beliefs vary around the world?” My answer to this question is tolerance varies between having religions in your country doing their own thing and creating a positive environment to them causing harm to people.

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