Religious Risks Essay, Research Paper
Religion has always caused conflict and other problems among citizens in a country or an empire where more than one religion exists. Either the government and its leader or the people themselves persecute the members of the other religions they want banned from their community. From what I understand, the people who persecute members of other religions tend to feel threatened by those other smaller religions. They believe those minor religions will gain more members, therefore, gaining the power and the strength they need to overthrow the once dominant religion and replace it with their own. Or they just think that the other religions are a disgrace to their own, sinful when compared to the rights and the wrongs which make their religion work. In the eyes of the persecutors, their victims are part of a religion that is just immoral and wrong in every aspect, like cannibalistic religions might seem wrong to some Christians or Catholics. Therefore, they attempt to rid themselves of that religion by persecuting its followers until they leave, die, or convert to the only tolerable and welcomed religion. In spite of this, it s my opinion that a person s dedication and loyalty to a particular religion could cause that person to risk his or her physical or emotional well being.
The United States has not had a history of having serious religious problems among its government or citizens. The United States has the First Amendment, which contains a Freedom of Religion, a law protecting any religion so that it can be practiced within its borders. Unfortunately, this is not the case in other countries, such as China or India. These two countries often experience severe complications dealing with religion.
As of this very moment, our world s largest country is having such problems as I have described. China is the last remaining country under communist rule. And of course, only the religions allowed by the government leader are tolerated in China.
Members of the Falun Gong sect, a blend of ideas drawn from Buddhism and Taoism, are experiencing severe persecution and sometimes death by the Chinese government for following the Falun Gong sect. China has long had a policy of banning religious groups it deems superstitious and permits only a handful of established religions, answerable to the state (Little). The Chinese government is now pledging to wipe out the evil cult of Falun Gong by putting the unrepentant in jail. In result, there have been numerous mass arrests of Falun Gong members, but members have gone underground and vow to continue their campaign of quiet defiance. I am willing to risk my own life in order to make the government understand us and stop persecuting us, said a Falun Gong woman hiding from the police (Little). Another member, also risking prison for speaking of this, described her treatment at the hands of authorities: The police kicked me all over, even my face. They said, this is how we treat enemies. Then they tried to strip search me (Little). Citizens are even arrested for helping Falun Gong members in any way, such as renting rooms to them. The government has also passed a law sentencing principal organizers to long-term sentences or death.
India is going through similar problems as well, except this time Hindus are persecuting Christians. In addition, the Indian government is being accused of failing to prevent the violence being afflicted upon Christians. This includes the killing of priests, the raping of nuns, and the destruction of churches, schools, and cemeteries. Because of this, thousands of Christians have been forced to convert to Hinduism (Little).
In conclusion, the members of the Falun Gong sect in China and the Christians in India are persecuted daily just because of the religions they chose to follow and dedicate their lives to. The persecutors perceive those religions as wrong and, of course, punishable by any means necessary. It s actually astonishing to think that people are robbed, beaten, jailed, raped, killed, or sentenced to death because they chose the wrong religion.