Post photo: Crosses | © Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

Of course, religion is a private matter for us, but then again not.

Viewed profanely, the origins of religion lie in the way we humans find our own identity. Along with language and culture, religion is one of the characteristics by which groups of people come together outside of family groups, but at the same time also distinguish themselves from other groups of people.

Language, religion and culture created and continue to create the most diverse tribes, which are now referred to as ethnic groups, and of which there are now far more than 1300 on our planet.

Over the millennia, many ethnic groups have come together to form peoples, and in recent centuries nation states have also been formed from them.

This means that religion may not only be of great importance for the individual, but one of the foundations of individual ethnic groups and for entire states, i.e. state-supporting.

For reasons of practicability alone, peoples and national states strive to have as few different religions as possible in their midst, but at least they demand, and rightly so, that all religions in their area of ​​responsibility do not question the state itself.

For us, this still means today that, even if the religious freedom of the individual is a matter of state, religion itself and especially its "ecclesiastical" representatives have to contribute to ensuring that the respective society unites and does not divide.

Even when Christianity was anything but a state religion, the following motto applied:

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."

Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 22,21:XNUMX

In any case, all religious freedom ends when the respective religion opposes its own state or society, because then it has long since lost its right to exist, if only from a non-religious point of view.

Especially in times when nation states are becoming less and less important and relevant and the most diverse ethnic groups share the same living space, it is particularly important that religions preach peaceful coexistence instead of emphasizing what separates us or even calling for religious wars.

As people and societies change, all religions must inevitably adapt to the given circumstances. Only a religion that changes together with its people also lives, and only in this way can it also serve the people in addition to its god or gods.

The Christian religions have been continuously adapting to the circumstances for a good 2 years and thus not only contribute to the prosperity of their respective societies, but also shape them in return; in this way they at least fulfill their social task.

The fact that this is not always easy for everyone involved can be seen in the current discourse within the Catholic Church, which is about to take another step towards an open society and its values.

However, it is very difficult for religions that migrate together with their believers into societies that are new to them and are thus more or less suddenly confronted with circumstances that can hardly be reconciled with their own current beliefs.

These religions must, for the sake of their members alone, very quickly understand and accept that not only will their believers have to change in language and culture, but that they themselves will have to adapt; because that is already due to being human and its more than 200 year history.

The first step towards this could be that the old flags of the states left with good intentions and not without reason are withdrawn and that one also begins to celebrate one's own service in the language that is valid here and understandable to everyone.

"Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy."

Albert Schweitzer, in a letter to a Japanese animal protection society (1961)

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