Foreign faiths

Americans should care about religious persecution in other countries


Photo by Allyson Smith

A figure representing different religions is restricted by handcuffs. Various faiths around the world unjustly experience oppression.

Story by Staff

Religion. It’s a system of faith that typically worships a God or Gods. In the current world, there are thousands of belief systems, some being minor while some being major, depending on the demographic and part of the world someone is in. These minor religions in the country are oftentimes persecuted just because they don’t have the same belief as the major faith of that country. 

Persecution is the practice of harassing and oppressing a group of people because they are  simply different from the majority of the population. 

In every country, there is a major religion that the majority of the population follows. In Poland it’s Christianity, in Saudi Arabia it’s Islam, in India it’s Hinduism and so on. But the minority populations in these countries are treated with disrespect simply because they don’t share beliefs. 

In many countries with no religious freedom, the populations are restricted from their religious beliefs. They have to go to their areas of worship in secret, are forced to partake in practices against their beliefs, and are forcibly converted. In many extreme cases, people are killed for their differing faiths. 

These practices are very damaging because it only leads to more violence and fear within the community. Innocent people are harmed for no real reason except the fact that they disagree about theologies.  

Kids living through persecution grow up in a dangerous environment with no bright future. They see their own religion as something detrimental. Families become torn apart, and many kids have to experience and grieve with the loss of family and friends at an age no kid should have to. 

Many people question why they should even care about other countries’ people being persecuted if they don’t even live there. But they should. They could be the reason why the problem gets resolved. 

When people acknowledge religious oppression in other countries, it gives a way to prevent persecution in their own society. When they understand the origin of the mistreatment, they can take the necessary steps to make sure it won’t happen to them. 

People shouldn’t be judged solely based on their religion. It should be more meaningful than that. They should be judged on aspects such as how they treat others or how they present themselves to others.  After all, even though everyone is different in their own unique way, they all have one thing in common: they are all human. 

If people from other countries speak out about the torment people go through, then the government might feel pressured to actually do something about it. Outsiders have huge influences when it comes to causing change within a government. Outside forces during World War II are the reason the Holocaust came to an end. 

Some people aren’t very aware of the issue, and it’s not something they can be blamed for. It doesn’t affect their daily lives, and it doesn’t get a whole lot of news coverage outside of the country in question. They don’t truly understand the severity of the issue. But with proper research, they can be educated and make a difference by spreading awareness through social media, friends, colleagues and family. 

Religious persecution is a serious matter. It damages families, the futures of kids and causes fear for so many innocent people. If people from other countries can acknowledge the oppression these people go through, then it can prevent persecution in other countries.  Pressure the government to make a change, and help people realize that religion isn’t a factor that should be used to judge someone as a person.