I was born and brought up as a Christian and although I was aware of religious differences in Uganda, I was also taught tolerance. Just as well, for you see I come from a large family and within that family are Christians, Muslims, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventists etc.
This tolerance was not limited to my family but appeared to be the norm certainly within the education system. For instance as an Anglican I was admitted to a Catholic Secondary School and some of my classmates were Muslims. That is how things were and I accepted them.
As an adult, I’ve struggled with the idea of religion on and off. This is not because I lost my faith per se but because I cannot establish logic in nor reconcile some of the actions that are carried out by some folks in the name of religion.
Here are some examples
- Sudanese Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag is 8 months pregnant and has recently been sentenced to death by judges in her country. She is accused of abandoning the religion in which she was born but not raised.
- In Nigeria over 200 teenage girls were abducted from their school a month ago in the name of religion
- Whilst in Uganda preachers such as Dr Martin Ssempa have sought tougher action for gay people in that country in the name of religion
I don’t claim to be an expert on religious affairs but when I observe such instances with a common man’s eyes, I fail to understand or even appreciate what sort of God would call for the killing, kidnapping etc, of another human on grounds of religion.
In my quest to understand these things, I often ask the question whether people who kill, rape, kidnap in the name of religion leave their religion in the buildings of worship. For you see my understanding of religion is that we are created in God’s image and that all places of worship should teach tolerance and that we should apply those lessons in our daily lives.
Take a look at Meriam in the photo above on what is probably the happiest day of her life and tell me that you can understand why anyone would want her dead in the name of God.
I heard on the news that her government is likely to kill her after she has had a child as if somehow this makes it OK. Is it ok to deprive a child of it’s mother and a man his wife in the name of religion?
As I said I don’t really understand this way of thinking and often apply my grandmother’s wisdom who used to say “they are no useless people and our challenge is to find the value in others”
Sarah Arrow says
It reminds me of that Star Trek line… we come in peace… shoot to kill. All the religions proclaim to be peaceful ones yet advocate hate in one way or another. I think this is the primary reason people are fed up with the “main” religions and seek out the teachings of wise people in different environments. Over the last few months I’ve given serious consideration to becoming a Buddhist as that’s more in line with my thinking. And one last comment…
There’s a lot of hate for Christians these days, I see more of it than I see the hate for Muslims. I see crimes against Christians not being reported in main stream news, I see it being ignored in local press. It would be wrong of us to think it was just one religion being persecuted, its not.
The worst ones for spreading the hate and a lot of nonsense are the atheists. They want to ram their atheism down other people’s throats with no respect for other people’s beliefs. Well that doesn’t convert people to their side.
I’ll let you know how I progress with becoming a Buddhist.
Sarah Arrow recently posted..How To Boost Your Expert Factor!
Thanks for stopping by Sarah. It is interesting that alternative religons are on the increase. A while ago a woman I met on an orgnaised walk encoruaged me not to lose faith and recommended a church that could help me back on track. I attend and she was right. I lost contact with her and when I met her again (2 years later) she had become a humanist!
This perscetuion of Christians especially in the Holly lands is something I don’t get
idahorner recently posted..Where would you hide 200 teenage girls?
Thank you for your thoughtful post.
These issues certainly break my heart, and I am sure it breaks God’s heart too.
As soon as we say or act in a way that doesn’t show love, and we say we are doing it in the name of God, we have stepped outside of what God asks and choose our own sinful nature.
As you know there have been a great deal of damage done supposedly, ‘in the name of God.” Killing a mother, abducting children, or jailing gay people, are not acts of love.
‘So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.’
John 13:34-35 NLT
Worship of God is about drawing near to His throne of grace and mercy, and honouring Him in thought, word, and deed.
None of these things honour Him or glorify His Holy name. We are in desperate need of God’s out pouring of love on this very broken world. We all have a choice; we can either turn to Him and repent and seek His face, or choose our own path and accept the consequences of our hateful actions.
Love and grace in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Anita recently posted..Are you living on spiritual breadcrumbs?
Thank you for stopping by Anita. It certainly doesn’t make sense and I struggle to forgive such acts and yet forgiveness is an essential part of being human.
All that we can do for Meriam is pray that the authorities in her country can see sense
idahorner recently posted..Being the news!