Tolerance And Truth In Religious Life

What kind of religious self-image encourages people to use violence against others? It would be far too condensed to discuss this solely in terms of Islam. Given the numerous conflicts around the world in which religious motives play at least a minor role, the question of the relationship between religious truth and violence arises for each religion. How can people who hold opposing worldviews and thus adhere to opposing truth claims live together? This problem arises in our country against the backdrop of a secular state that is neutral toward religions, albeit cooperatively.

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Truth in Religion and Violence

The statement that such acts of violence by Islamists have nothing to do with Islam was made shortly after the attacks in January of this year, but it fell short of the mark. Every religion, including Christianity, must deal with the issue of violence perpetrated by people who claim to be followers of that religion. Without a doubt, Christianity has a long history of violence, injustice, and suffering in the name of the cross. There are numerous examples of people acting in faith, spreading the truth of a religious message by any means necessary, or believing they must defend it. A religious truth that appears to be more important than human life and justifies violence in the name of a higher justice must be questioned in any case.

Many truths

In plural societies, religions face a challenge in that other religious communities all claim to preach the truth. Such closeness necessitates tolerance. The religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries resulted in the separation of state and church on the federal level. State violence should never again be used to enforce religious truth. In this context, religious liberty came to mean the right and freedom to live one’s own beliefs rather than being forced into one. With the declaration “Dignitatis Humanae” in the Second Vatican Council, religious freedom became a right within Catholicism. While states had previously been asked to protect the truth in the form of the Catholic faith while tolerating other religions for the sake of social peace, they have now taken a different path. The right of the individual to seek the truth, based on human dignity, is to be protected, not the truth itself.

We must be willing to compromise

If plural societies are looking for new ways to coexist, they must protect their diversity. Everyone has the right to live their convictions as long as they do not cause harm to others. Citizens also have the right to express and defend their own opinions. Without freedom of expression, our society would be unimaginable; it is a valuable asset and, as the foundation of our democracy, it cannot be compromised. However, this necessitates mutual consideration, particularly when it comes to others’ feelings. It is correct to protect religious criticism in the sense of freedom of expression. Religious people must be willing to be challenged and deal with criticism. Criticism is frequently harmful.


Religions have the potential to be violent at any time. There are numerous examples of this throughout history. It is all the more important to address these instances of injustice and violence from a religious standpoint. It took a long time for the Catholic Church to confront the injustices committed in the name of the Catholic faith.