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Religious Freedom and Freedoms of Association

Religious freedom

Religious freedom is a matter that is considered personal and sacred. Freedoms of association with religious affiliation and activity have always been protected by law. Many accepted laws promote religious leniency as a matter of individual decision and conscience. Some people have no affiliation. Their belief is basically in no belief system. However much religion is termed as a manifestation it must be at par with the basic conformities of human dignity (Johansen, 2010). These among other reasons have cropped up to bring about the various sects in the world’s major religions. For instance Christianity has under its umbrella, the Roman Catholic Church, Pentecostal churches, Anglican, Orthodox and many others.

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I was born and brought up in Roman Catholic background. My belief system revolves around the doctrines of the Catholic Church. We pray before meals and believe in Jesus as the only son of God, who came on earth to save us from sins. Jesus’ life is a path all practicing Catholics are taught to emulate. Jesus lived a sinless life on earth an impossible feat for human beings. The belief system dictates that we practice righteousness as well as attend communion and confessions regularly. Being brought up in a community where almost everyone was catholic has had a huge impact on the variety and the coining of what I was to believe in. The range of choice in religious affiliation is limited. The central belief is that all humans are equal before the eyes of God. All have fallen short of the glory of God.

Worship is integral in any religion. It is an act of acknowledgement of supremacy towards a being that is higher than you. Worship is somewhat submission to the beliefs held in accordance to the religion one is associated with (Kieckhefer & Bond, 1990). The Catholics bow at the altar in acknowledgement of God’s presence. Songs of praise and deliberate praise to Mary mother of Jesus and Jesus the world’s savior are all material acts. As Christians a tithe and offerings are more than just sacrifice they are a way of worship. For Catholics ones internal way of emotional affiliation towards the Christianity is more important than the outward show. We believe that what one has on the inside manifests itself on the outside. The myths that have always been held in the church no longer hold as much weight as before in the current belief systems of the 21st century. Some have been outfaced. Some of the issues like not having women priest has led to new catholic defunct like The New Age Catholic Church.

Community influence

Community influence comes about when a person is brought up in an affiliated community since birth or during childhood. The Middle East is predominantly Islam in areas like Iraq and Iran. A person born and bred here is likely to hold onto the belief that only Allah is God. These is a community influence as compared to a surrounded Israel which practices Judaism (Urban, 2011). Different factors hold different weight on the issue of religion. If a child was to be born and taught on all aspects of the various religions based on their own understanding we would have a totally different religious context altogether. A range of new belief systems are being adopted by various individuals in the world. These beliefs systems are based on what is said to be a radicalistic mentality or deliberation of conscience and thought from long held norms. Some have well based foundations of belief while others are much younger. A deliberation on what Scientology entails will follow. It is a young religion with a considerable influential following.

New religion

Scientology is a new religious movement that has caused stirs in the world especially in the USA. The religion of scientology is based on facts of rationality and self-improvement with the arrival to an understanding (Wright, 2013). While critics may base this as a way to escaping reality, the scientologist believe this is the best way to approaching life. Famous personalities including Tom Cruise are affiliated to this religion. The founders of the religion believe in life after death differently. While Christians and Muslims as well as other African religions believe in the existence of an afterlife. Scientologist believe that in death one merely goes to pick up another body and lives again once more on earth (Wright, 2013). The bare similarity of this religion and many others is that a person lives again after dying, the form in which they are re-incarnated is the question that is up for debate. A person is more than human flesh they have immortality traits in them. Scientology goes ahead to explain why some young children are so talented from a young age, did they happen to have lived before? Deja vu does not just happen they say (Urban, 2011). It is a sign of a former life. Celebrities may have been lured into the scientology movement due to association as well as differential belief systems. As we have seen the community plays an important part in giving a person the direction of religious affiliation. Scientology practices ‘auditing’ which in a way is a form of meditation. A member undergoes deep reaching psychological reach in terms of experiences, unconscious behavior and patterns (Urban, 2011). These and others assist one knowing themselves. Scientology is reluctant and objectified towards normal psychological counselling and treatment.

Background foundation and elements

The church through affiliation of the rich and famous has grown in leaps in order to capture the new found people who have achieved everything except for a religious affiliation. Their feel is that they are different. They have been known to have objectified opinions and different arenas of thinking (Urban, 2011). Both socially and politically. Once a person has been indulged into the religion, conviction based on logical reasoning is used. Members of scientology are not opposed to other religious beliefs they are just convinced that mere belief without the inclusion of reason and logic is baseless. As opposed to the norm where religious conviction is based on a belief system whereby a supreme being is involved. The system and religious way of life is based on what would be pleasing to the Supreme Being. Scientology makes this debatable by presentation of the facts that one ought to do what is correct based on a moral justice system.


Whether one choses to live in utter denial or in utmost belief of a religious system, we are all born in one. Which consciously or unconsciously has been proven to alter how we behave as well as our reasoning. Religion is a matter of the heart and conscience and should be treated as so.

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Johansen, T. (2010). Religion and spirituality in psychotherapy: An individual psychology perspective. New York: Springer Pub. Co.

Kieckhefer, R., & Bond, G. D. (1990). Sainthood: Its manifestations in world religions. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Urban, H. B. (2011). The church of scientology: A history of a new religion. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Wright, L. (2013). Going clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the prison of belief.

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