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Opinion, Opinion

Religious Intolerance Is Simply Hypocrisy

Religious Intolerance Is Simply Hypocrisy
The Assemblies of God Fiji head office building at Robertson Road in Suva. Photo: Ronald Kumar
May 08
13:41 2018

 

When you believe in God and you do things that go against his will and laws, it is hypocrisy.

Religious intolerance is not God’s way.

Under the laws of this country as enshrined in the Constitution, it is not right to attack another religion.

The Taveuni case of an alleged attack against the Assemblies of God Church is sad and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

As the Police deal with the case, it is important to remember that it has serious implications.

This could have been another church.

While the details of the case will be disclosed in due course, the principle behind it is wrong.

It appears at this stage that it was an alleged act of sacrilege.

If that was true, it was a deliberate act to desecrate a place of worship.

Earlier this year, a series of temples were broken into.

The perpetrators were allegedly looking for cash.

But it caused pain and anguish in the faith community who saw it as an attack on their faith.

Whether it’s religious intolerance or some criminal intent, it is still wrong.

All religions are protected by the Constitution in our secular state.

It means we are all free to practise our religion within the bounds of the law.

It also means we cannot coerce or force people to join us in our beliefs.

In other words we cannot impose our beliefs on others.

The use of violence to attack another religion or influence people’s beliefs is unlawful.

It bears the mark of religious extremism, fanaticism and bigotry.

The God that many of us believe in is a God of love, peace, non-discrimination and freedom of choice.

These are fundamental and universal principles that stand as sentinels in a world besieged by conflicting ideas and shifting values.

Intolerance breeds violence which in turn leads to extremism, hate crimes and bigotry.

We hope the Taveuni case is an isolated incident and that the communities and the parties allegedly involved can come together and resolve their differences.

After the temple attacks earlier this year and the subsequent public attention they attracted, things seem to have gone quiet, until this alleged Taveuni incident.

We have learned from experience that intolerance has no place in our communities.

Let’s keep it that way.

 

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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