Dear Muslim & Christian Friends,
I have been thinking a lot about this question: “What is freedom of religion?”
I mean, what does it really mean?
Is it freedom granted by the government where you live to practice your religion (as long as it does not harm others)?
Is it freedom for mosques to built in Europe and the United States but also churches to be built in Saudi Arabia?
Is it freedom to believe differently than your family, friends, or even your religious leaders?
Is it freedom for a Christian to study Islam, to read the Qur’an, to visit a mosque – in a search for truth?
Is it freedom for a Muslim to study Christianity, to read the Bible, to visit a church – in a search for truth?
Is it freedom for a Muslim to engage in dawa with a Christian or a Christian to engage in evangelism with a Muslim (as long as there is no pressure but rather sincere dialogue based on mutual respect, love, and honesty)?
Here is the really BIG question: is freedom of religion the freedom to choose your religion. . .to even change your religion?
Let’s take it a step further.
Should you have the right to choose. . .or to change. . .your religion without suffering negative or harmful repercussions from:
your religious leaders
your mosque or church?
Freedom: no rejection, hatred, arrests, interrogation, torture, or imprisonment because of your choice or change in what you believe and practice.
Freedom: no one saying, “What?! You have become a ______________? You are not my son/daughter, wife/husband, brother/sister any more! You have shamed us. You must leave. Don’t ever come back!”
Freedom: no loss of property, job, education, spouse, children, personal freedoms or even. . .your life. . .because of your choice of what faith to follow.
This is one of my great passions for all people: freedom of religion.
Freedom to choose. . .freedom to change.
Everywhere. For every person.
My Muslim & Christian friends, what do you think about this kind of freedom – freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, and even freedom of religion?
Shouldn’t everyone have these rights? These freedoms? These choices?
In the USA. . .or in Uzbekistan. In England. . .or in Egypt. In Australia. . .or in Algeria. In Iceland. . .or in Iran.
You may not feel free on the outside to choose. . .or to change. But God has given you these rights in your heart.
It’s up to you. . .
(edited from a post on Jan 8, 2015)