One of the assets that makes the United States of America the diverse and unique political structure that it is, is it’s willingness to accept any religious background regardless of race, gender, orientation, or ethnicity. It is a country that gives one the opportunity to safely practice their beliefs without fear of government interference or retaliation. However despite set laws for the protection of one’s belief, something we as humans have been unable to extinguish is the violence and hate against religious freedom.
As we know, the right to practice one’s religion is a basic human right, and ultimately it is the duty of our governments to protect that right. Yet we see in countries around the world how this right has been deteriorating. Muslims who wish to carry out christian lives are persecuted and put to death in their countries. In many occurrences throughout history we have seen political leaders and media exhaust their power to scapegoat smaller religious groups, discriminating and persistently harassing these groups based on their beliefs and religious practices. The Philadelphia riots of 1844 displays the violence against catholic believers of the era; Irish immigrants were mistreated and discriminated being on account of being an Irish Catholic.
One of the most well known and exhibited examples of religious discrimination started the war of September 1, 1939. World War ll lead to the death of many semitic organizations and families on account of an anti-semitic government. We saw the use of religious scapegoating and the discriminaion against the jewish nation. Families forced apart, detained unjustly, and put to death for their heritage.
For more examples of current violations of religious freedom, the story of Shincheonji, a church known more commonly as the South Korean cult that is led by a Korean Jesus, is the most recent and prevalent example of religious rights being violated not only by individuals, but by a government and mainstream media.
It is the responsibility of each respective country to protect the rights of their citizens. When pushed into a corner by higher power and forced to stop practicing one’s religion, the victims of this hate have no one to turn to but to the government who is accountable for the safe practice of one’s belief regardless of their background. For this laws have been set and bills have been signed so that humans have the right to express their religious freedom happy and free. We have the perquisite as humans to look back at history and build from it. We can see where we were wrong, and where our actions were unjustified. As a united nation, we should continue to fight and voice the fallen and support those who suffer religious persecution. One day on your way to Sunday service, you may be gunned down because of the life of faith you live. We have a chance to learn and build from our history. Let us work fast to support one another before any more lives are lost or unlawful acts are carried out on account of one’s belief.