It is highly probable that you have the same religion as your parents. Parents have a great deal of influence over their children’s education. Choose your parents carefully! About three quarters of people stay in the religion they were raised in, although it depends when you were born. The ‘baby boomer’ generation was more rebellious - two thirds of them left their parents’ faith but some have returned to it since.




Someone I know says he didn’t know he was a Muslim until he saw it written in his first passport! Some societies, in the grip of a religion, tolerate no dissent. Babies are inducted into the state religion shortly after birth. Boys, not girls, are sent to school where they get taught the faith and no other subjects! There are severe punishments, often including death, for the religious ‘crimes’ of blasphemy (being rude to god), heresy (disagreeing with priests’ doctrine) and apostasy (leaving the faith).















You can see by the map that it’s very important to choose where you are born! Do you notice that religions reflect the history of colonisation? Whoever made that map assumed there are no atheists. Whilst that might once have been true, in the last fifty years atheism has been growing in the tolerant Western secular democracies where a liberal education is universally available.




Even in a secular country you can be sent to a faith school where you will be subjected to daily rituals designed to inculcate in you the idea that you belong to the only correct religion and all other religions are wrong. Consolidating differences in this way only serves to divide societies into factions which have animosity towards each other. This has given rise to many instances of sectarian violence and war. It can be between religions, as is the case in Nigeria, or between sects belonging to the same religion! Northern Ireland has been divided into warring Catholic and Protestant communities since the 1500s.

Zoom to see key

Religions Promote Differences


All religions require different styles of worship and buildings to worship in, some faiths expect you to wear different clothes, eat different food and have different haircuts! See page 9


Considering that there is no evidence for the existence of any god, these are all unnecessary differences. Mankind has enough real differences to provide a rich worldly experience. There is nothing wrong with individual differences, but when large numbers conform into tribal groups the outcome is, inevitably, conflict.




Religious people may go on pilgrimages - they travel great distances to plight their troth to a supposed holy site and hope to receive healing.

Monks on pilgrimage

Jews at the ‘wailing wall’ in Jerusalem

Christians at Lindisfarne


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