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← Which religion is the hardest to escape from?

Which religion is the hardest to escape from? - Comments

thatgingerscouser's Avatar Comment 1 by thatgingerscouser

Islam. Without a question, without a doubt. You don't get killed for leaving the church of Zoroastrianism.

Sun, 15 May 2011 08:33:25 UTC | #626945

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 2 by Stevehill


Perhaps in the interests of a discussion we should widen the question to embrace which other religions are difficult to leave?

Sun, 15 May 2011 08:44:09 UTC | #626947

The Plc's Avatar Comment 3 by The Plc

Judiasm, seeing as about half of it's proponents are atheists (as well as being very smart) and still don't want to leave!

Sun, 15 May 2011 08:56:09 UTC | #626951

Nick LaRue's Avatar Comment 4 by Nick LaRue

As the other posts have already stated Islam would be the most difficult and not solely based on the idea of being killed for leaving. Out of all the religions Islam is best at creating a 'family' like community which tends to be most Muslims social interaction. Very few Muslims have friends outside the Islamic community they create. Of course this kind of depends on certain factors but I've seen it first hand how people get absorbed into the whole thing.

As for leaving religion in general. I would say they're all hard to some extent. Even my family who is not overly religious find my being non religious difficult for them. This doesn't cause any issues between us but it just goes to show that even the most moderate of people who are believers can still see someone who is not religious as problematic.

Obviously the more strict the religious upbringing the more difficult it is to leave as your life basically revolves around your religion.

As I have pointed out in other discussions there are many who leave religious households and basically lose everything, family, friends, work, etc. Leaving your religion in some cases is devastating not just emotionally but in many other ways as well.

Sun, 15 May 2011 08:57:24 UTC | #626952

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 5 by TheRationalizer

Islam must be difficult but most people who leave do not get killed for it. Scientology must score fairly highly because they first take all your money, then when you leave they get your family to ostracise you.

Sun, 15 May 2011 09:25:42 UTC | #626957

edmundjessie's Avatar Comment 6 by edmundjessie


Sun, 15 May 2011 09:47:19 UTC | #626963

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 7 by Schrodinger's Cat

The hardest religion to escape from is undoubtedly the one that could be described as ' Hmm, I'm not sure what I believe in but there must be something to it all'.

Sun, 15 May 2011 10:30:15 UTC | #626972

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 8 by Tyler Durden

Which religion is the most difficult to leave?

The one in which your parents indoctrinated you into.

Sun, 15 May 2011 10:56:17 UTC | #626983

Lapithes's Avatar Comment 9 by Lapithes

Mormonism, Scientology?

Sun, 15 May 2011 10:56:45 UTC | #626984

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 10 by ScientistX

Atheism cannot be equated with religion (comment 6) since the latter can be defined as an irrational belief, while the former is a denial of the very same.

Sun, 15 May 2011 11:16:25 UTC | #626988

Jay G's Avatar Comment 11 by Jay G

Comment #3: Judaism

I agree. Many people, some known to me personally, do not really believe in God or the divine origin of the Torah but remain practicing, orthodox-style Jews.

Sun, 15 May 2011 11:19:34 UTC | #626989

dandelion fluff's Avatar Comment 12 by dandelion fluff

Maybe the question isn't the particular brand of religion, but in how personally you took it.

Sun, 15 May 2011 11:52:12 UTC | #627001

danconquer's Avatar Comment 13 by danconquer

If one renounces their belief in Christianity, Islam or Hinduism, other followers of that religion will tend to accept the right of individual self-determination... Of course, that's not to say they wont resent you for it, or in the case of Islam, threaten violence for doing so. But anyone describing themselves as an atheist will be taken at their word, even if it means they hate your guts for it!

Whereas some religions - Judaism and Sikhism come to mind - are complicated by the ethnic dimension which is integral to the religious identity. Others in the community will continue to view you as a 'member' of their religion irrespective of what views you profess on the subject, making it almost impossible to truly 'escape'.

Sun, 15 May 2011 12:23:53 UTC | #627005

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 14 by AtheistEgbert

Escaping from religion is easy: stop lying to yourself. Lying to yourself leads to lying to others. It is only a step then that such people create laws protecting liars and persecuting truth tellers.

Being honest with yourself requires no bravery, in fact, most religious people are hypocrites, who don't really believe the lies they spread. Real bravery requires you to be honest with others, and that kind of bravery will get you killed in savage religious dominated countries.

Sun, 15 May 2011 12:24:34 UTC | #627006

shams's Avatar Comment 15 by shams

Which religion is the most difficult to leave?

Islam, because it is the most evolved of the Big Three monotheistic CSSs. As proof, in 20 years one out of four humans will be muslim. Resistance to proselytization is one of the most successful EGT strategies on the planet right now.

Consider Iraq and Afghanistan. 10 years and a trillion dollars of COIN and the Bush Doctrine and Iraq is still 97% muslim and has shariah law in the constitution, and Afghanistan is 99% muslim and the Taliban are increasing at 10% per year. ;)

Sun, 15 May 2011 12:40:57 UTC | #627011

wcapehart's Avatar Comment 16 by wcapehart

Comment 13 by danconquer :

Whereas some religions - Judaism and Sikhism come to mind - are complicated by the ethnic dimension which is integral to the religious identity. Others in the community will continue to view you as a 'member' of their religion irrespective of what views you profess on the subject, making it almost impossible to truly 'escape'.

And don't forget people outside the community, e.g., antisemites, as one example, see jews as once one always one. Your former co-religionists may not see you as leaving "the family" though they may accept (and even respect) that you no longer believe but with them at least you're still family (for worse and often better).

Sun, 15 May 2011 13:20:48 UTC | #627025

ukantic's Avatar Comment 17 by ukantic

Which religion is the most difficult to leave? Religions have many chains which they use to keep people obedient, whether it be fear of hell, fear of death, desire to see lost loved ones, societal conformism, etc.

Which is the most effective?

I think the Exclusive Brethren are amongst one of the worst offenders.

Sun, 15 May 2011 13:48:15 UTC | #627031

Richie P's Avatar Comment 18 by Richie P

Agree with all the comments about Islam so far. A cult like The WBC must be very difficult to leave as well.

Sun, 15 May 2011 14:17:04 UTC | #627041

bubbub's Avatar Comment 19 by bubbub

There are some other reasons why it's hard to leave Islam other than fear of being killed. From what I read on the cemb forum, a big reason is fear of eternal fiery & boiling torture, which is a favourite topic in the Qur'an (much more than the Bible), and remains for a long time in the back of many ex-Muslim minds. Also, there's the fear of ostracisation, so many ex-Muslims keep their apostacy secret. Apostates are often seen with a very dim view, moreso than ex-Christians as far as I can tell.

Sun, 15 May 2011 14:26:21 UTC | #627042

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 20 by DocWebster

I'd like to put in my vote for Jehovah's Witless. Those suck-broom salesmen they send out always have a list of people who are likely to be in the area but have not "checked in" after moving from their old congregation. It's a perfect way for abusive husbands to track down wives that are running away and such.

Sun, 15 May 2011 14:36:18 UTC | #627045

thatgingerscouser's Avatar Comment 21 by thatgingerscouser

Can we put together a nice little chart rundown?

For my money...

  1. Islam (all denominations)
  2. $cientology
  3. Branch Davidians
  4. Mormonism
  5. Jehovah's Witnesses
  6. Judaism (culturally at least)
  7. Sikhism
  8. Hare Krishna
  9. Catholicism
  10. Hinduism

Sun, 15 May 2011 14:49:50 UTC | #627047

JuJu's Avatar Comment 22 by JuJu


Sun, 15 May 2011 15:11:55 UTC | #627054

besleybean's Avatar Comment 23 by besleybean


Sun, 15 May 2011 15:23:10 UTC | #627056

Pitchguest's Avatar Comment 24 by Pitchguest

If you and your family are Mormons, leave and you'll be ostracised.

If you and your family are Catholics, leave and you'll be ostracised.

If you and your family are Jehovah's Witness, leave and you'll be ostracised.

If you and your family are Westboro Baptist, leave and you'll be ostracised.

If you and your family are Hindus, leave and you'll be ostracised.

If you and your family are Protestants, leave and you'll be ostracised.

If you and your family are Muslims, leave and you'll be ostracised.

etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum

In conclusion, religion is bad. The question on whether which one is the most difficult for leaving depends solely on whether your family, close relatives or close friends are also part of that religion. If your entire family were part of a certain religion, you'd find it difficult to leave any of them. As for the most difficult one? Many say Islam and I'm inclined to agree. But then there are punishments worse than death. As I think many here are aware of. Being shut away from your family, your friends, your relatives, simply because they, too, are part of that religion is too cruel.

Not that everyone who ascribe to Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and so on believe in the concept of apostasy or ostracism, of course there are exceptions and I believe we are well on our way to weed out this stone-age type of thinking. But the fact is that there are people who still think along these lines, and not a minor part of the populace either.

Sun, 15 May 2011 15:33:41 UTC | #627062

equal2u's Avatar Comment 25 by equal2u

This idea that Islam has the death penalty for apostasy isn't actually true as far as I can tell. All it actually says in the Koran is that apostates will burn in Hell, it doesn't say anything about killing them. This is just the 'interpretation' of prominent Islamic 'scholars' who seem intent on making their religion even more insanely oppressive than it already is.

I think Islam is the hardest to escape from because of the extreme brainwashing techniques involved. People are only vulnerable to brainwashing when they are children. All religions take advantage of this, but particularly Islam where children are ruthlessly brainwashed literally from the moment they are born. Islam is also unique in that it seeks to dominate every aspect of life from the daily activities of the individual right up to the highest levels of government and the formation of law. A Muslim has to wash, dress and eat according to Islam. He even has to face away from Mecca when he uses the lavatory. His sleep is interrupted by Islam as he must wake to worship Allah. Then of course he has to travel to Mecca at least once in his life. Go to the mosque every day. Avoid masturbating or engaging in homosexual activity. And respect his laws and government which will all be entirely dominated by Islam in a Muslim country. And of course, if you're a woman things get much, much worse.

When you've been brainwashed into believing this shit literally from the moment you're born it really is hard to break free of it. Or it must be, I should say. Luckily for me all I got was a few stories of Jesus' miracles at primary school. And the teacher informed us it was probably because of the 'placebo effect'. Did Jesus ever do double blind clinical trials with his miracles? Also I got outraged looks when I didn't get on my knees at my cousin's baptism. Even though she was only there to get into a good school. I got on my knees then. Because I was a kid and easy to intimidate. But I'm never again getting on my knees and worshipping SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T EXIST!!! FUCKERS!!!

Sun, 15 May 2011 15:41:01 UTC | #627064

asdi's Avatar Comment 26 by asdi

Islam, as it teaches it followers to establish relationship and accept other humans on the basis of their faith ( to please Allah) but not nationality / blood relation / language / character but only the faith. so here is order by which a typical Muslim consider or value you.

1- Muslim ? 2- person of the book (Christian or Jew) 3- believer (any supernatural being) 4- non religious / agnostic / atheist

If you declare your self faithless, there remains no reason for them to consider you appropriate any more so they cut off and you are left alone. it is easy to carry on in the west with your own life but in Islamic societies and cultures, you are like "dumped" atleast, if not killed, which makes it hard to carry on with your life and so many who want to leave or have left, keep it to them selves and never are open about it

Sun, 15 May 2011 15:46:09 UTC | #627065

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 27 by Steve Zara

This idea that Islam has the death penalty for apostasy isn't actually true as far as I can tell.

Doesn't it say so very much about a belief system that the idea of a death penalty for leaving it can't be immediately dismissed? That people actually have to think about whether or not it is true? That what it says in the Koran could be seen as having any kind of authority about such a penalty?

How much more proof do we need that the belief that we are subjects of a divine master, far from giving our lives purpose and meaning, can reduce humans to immoral savagery? This is what happens when we out-source our conscience to others. We lose our dignity and our humanity.

Sun, 15 May 2011 15:52:15 UTC | #627066

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 28 by chawinwords

Children who watch the Harry Potter movies go home, understanding that what they have just seen and heard is entertainment fantasy. Muslim, intellectually adult children, who believe with all their heart that Mohammad actually flew to heaven and back, riding on a magic winged horse, well, never grew up intellectually. Mentioning a Muslim belief does not in any way negate the countless adult Christian children that firmly believe in all the magic/fantasy (foundation) that fills the Holy Bible. Can you imagine an adult Christian who believes the Muslim winged horse fantasy, yet believes in Biblical magic and fantasy, completely. So, all religions depend upon pre-adolescent intellectual limitations. No wonder religions have tortured, murdered, oppressed and, caused so much persistent insanity for billions of human beings throughout history.

Sun, 15 May 2011 16:11:49 UTC | #627074

shams's Avatar Comment 29 by shams


We lose our dignity and our humanity.

lol, savagery in service of ideology is part of being human. We don't get control of that until we rewrite the legacy code. ;)

Doesn't it say so very much about a belief system that the idea of a death penalty for leaving it can't be immediately dismissed?

Harsh penalties for apostasy are part of religious fundamentalism (Pascal Boyer) in general, and part of islamic defense against proselytization EGT strategy. It is also part of the consent of the governed in islamic democracies like Egypt and Pakistan. Your problem, atheists, is that because of the biology of belief you cannot fight faith with reason.

If you want to fight against religious belief, you must copy the strong CSSs. A great strength of both Islam and christianity is childhood education. In majority muslim states all education is islamic education. In the UK and the US and Canada, even in France and other euros, private and parochial schools perpetuate religious belief.

Sun, 15 May 2011 16:15:51 UTC | #627075

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 30 by ScientistX

LOL - You mean childhood brainwashing!

Sun, 15 May 2011 16:22:29 UTC | #627076