Background on Religious Discrimination

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishing of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

These are the words of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We live in a nation whose founders considered free speech and free exercise of religion so important that they deliberately sealed their protection in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

The United States has a rich history. Few nations in the world experience such a high standard of living. People from every continent have come here in search of freedom. And it was because of religious discrimination and persecution that the pilgrims moved to America.

Many others in foreign lands are not allowed freedom of religion. In some places, if you practice any religion other than the "official one", you will be discriminated against in the job, housing, etc.

One of the most brutal forms of discrimination throughout history has been religious discrimination. From the Crusades to the Holocaust, people have used religion as a reason to commit horrifically violent acts against people of various faiths. Millions of people have been persecuted, tortured and killed because of judgments made about their religious ideologies.

The September 11th terrorists used religion to defend their actions and consequently have made people believe that all Muslims are capable of such sadism.

Religious discrimination is not a thing of the past, it is occurring right now, even as you read this.

There are myriad reasons why people discrimination others based on their religious beliefs.

  • Oftentimes, the root is fear. People fear what they don't know or understand. Sometimes discrimination is ingrained in them from childhood.
  • Many people are raised to believe that any other religion other than their own is wrong. That is sufficient reason to treat people of different faiths badly.

Either way, to discriminate against people based on their religion is a sign of ignorance. Ignorance of the religion being defaced and ignorance of the religion’s followers.