Would you consider an illegal religion?

Would you consider an illegal religion?

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Staff member
There are many countries in the world that do not allow freedom of religion. If you lived in such a country, would you consider following an illegal religion or would you only consider the ones that were legal? Keep in mind that in many of these countries you could be jailed, tortured, or killed for being part of an "illegal" religion.

For the sake of the thread, I am not talking about beliefs that are widely accepted as illegal everywhere. Things like child sacrifice, etc. I'm talking about mainstream religions that are banned. Or even countries where it's required that you follow a specific religion and converting to anything else is illegal.


Registered Member
I'm an atheist, so maybe this is not exactly what you're asking for, but there are countries where legislation is in favor of an "official" religion, i.e. orthodox Islam in case of Saudi Arabia. I wouldn't want to obey to the rules of Islam as that country demands it, which are of no relevance for me as atheist -- I want an alcoholic drink from time to time, I want to talk with women, sing and dance. So if I was living there, not just as foreigner (who are cut some slack), but as a citizen, I am not sure I would break all these rules. But if I didn't, it wouldn't be because of the religion in that country, but merely because of fear of being caught. And I surely would break the rules when I'm sure I won't be caught.


if i had to live in that country, and if a certain religion was strictly banned then i don't think i'd want to risk myself.
this comes out of a person who doesn't believe much in religion [though believes in God]
i don't know what i'd do if i was literally religious. i've heard people sacrifice their life for a religion they want to follow. in my case, i wouldn't do that.


Staff member
Atheism is a bit different but there are cases where it could be considered an "illegal belief" perhaps. It's definitely a "side" in the religious debate though so in many ways it could be considered a religion for the sake of this particular argument.


Certified Shitlord
Obviously I would not be part of it unless I was a part of it before it became illegal. Otherwise, where's the logic in joining a religion and remaining in a country that will kill you for it? Especially if it's a theocracy.


Registered Member
It's hard to say what I'd do if I were raised in a completely different culture. I'd like to think that I would believe whatever has the most evidence, but I would definitely require a larger preponderance of the evidence before choosing something illegal to believe.


4 legs good 2 legs bad
A religion is just a set of beliefs. The law isn't going to stop someone from believing something. Now whether or not they are going to practice that religion openly is another story.

What would really be interesting is if the illegal religion has a commandment "Thou shalt not break the law." Then you're really screwed.


Registered Member
Although I am an atheist, no law would ban me from believing in something. Expressing it and promoting, yes. But not believing. They cannot get into my mind, and I cannot order myself to believe into something only because it is legal.


In need of Entertainment
As I've said similarly in another thread, if I had no choice I would practice the illegal religion in secret, while outwardly I'd practice the legal religion.


Registered Member
I can't imagine banning a religion, but I do see how some religious practices will be banned. Religion can make people do shitty stuff, some of that shitty stuff needs to be made illegal.

If a government does ban a religion, it is a bad government and needs to be spanked. It's almost as stupid as banning a book.

Besides the fact that is not necessarily possible to find out what someone's religion is, I'd choose the religion that would fit me best. If it happened to be illegal, that is a problem which needs to be met with. "People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people."
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