It is often said that a person is intolerant when he adopts a disrespectful attitude towards those who have ideas or beliefs different from his own. Intolerance is usually associated with belligerent or offensive positions. Religious Intolerance
The classic argument of the bigots
Although there is no single cause that explains religious intolerance, it can be said that this is a widespread argument among those who practice a religion and who are intolerant of others. The argument is simple: if my religious doctrine is true, it is fair to fight those who defend false doctrines. This position is considered a form of religious fundamentalism.
Religious intolerance is a phenomenon as old as religion itself
When the early Christians practiced their rituals, they had to hide in the catacombs because the Roman authorities did not tolerate their beliefs. Jews were persecuted at many times in history and the main motivation for this persecution was precisely the hostility towards their beliefs.
The religious vision of the pre-Columbian peoples was opposed by the Christians who arrived on the American continent. In Christianity itself there were cases of intolerance towards other Christian doctrines, which were labeled as heresies or deviations from the true faith. These examples show us that rejection and intolerance to beliefs has been a constant throughout history.
Religious intolerance opposes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 18 specifies that every individual has the right to freedom of thought and that this right affects the practice of religious beliefs. Thus, if we are free to believe and practice a religious doctrine or another, our freedom is valid like the others.
Religious intolerance is not only opposed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is also a position that promotes hatred and confrontation between people and peoples.
Religious tolerance is a relatively recent phenomenon
If we take the case of Spain as a reference, for centuries Catholicism has been very aggressive with other religious beliefs (Protestants, Jews and followers of Islam were persecuted and suffered intolerance from the State and the Catholic Church).
However, since the Constitution of 1978, religious freedom was regulated and nowadays the Spanish society is most of the times tolerant with any religious belief or doctrine. This social climate of respect and tolerance also exists throughout Latin America.