Editor’s Note: Respecting others’ religious belief
It is disturbing to note that during the Live Streaming of Traslacion 2019 done a TV network, there were some people who joined the Live Streaming to mock and criticize the religious practice and belief of the devotees who perhaps some are even living in other parts of the world. But in their ardent desire to pay homage to the Black Nazarene, they participated in the Live Streaming and perhaps just like in the Holy Scripture (Matthew 9:20-22) clearly depicted how a woman who was bleeding for 12 years said to herself that if he could only touch the cloak of Jesus, she would be healed. Lo and behold, when Jesus saw her, he said, “Daughter, do not worry for your faith jas healed you. And that very moment, the woman was healed.”
Our country takes pride of being the only Christian nation in Asia. And there are around 85 percent who belong to the Roman Catholic, 6 percent come from local Christian churches, Islam is around 5.7 percent and mostly concentrated in Mindanao, while the rest of the 2 percent belong to various Protestant denominations who now call themselves Christians and rest who do not have religious affiliation call themselves Agnostics and Atheists.
Before, the Filipinos were more tolerant and respectful of other’s religious belief and practice. We recognize the Ramadan, the foundation of Iglesia Ni Cristo, the founding of Aglipayan Church and even the aggressive proselytization of other religions at the expense of other religions by brazenly disparaging them worst in the time where they deliver their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures they read. But what could be the reason why they are doing this? Do they not understand that even Jesus reminded John in Luke 9:49-50 when John told Jesus, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us”. In response to John’s zealousness, Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Religion comes from the Latin word “Religare”, which means “to bind together”. One will not be able to bind with others if they remain selfish, self-righteous and disrespectful of others’ religious beliefs or practices.
For those who mock other’s religious belief or practices, please ponder on this. You may be the most proficient or voracious Bible readers who can memorize all the passages from Genesis to revelation. But what good is that if you do not show love and respect for others?
On final note, try to ruminate if what you are doing is right. Because if your religion teaches you to mock and hate others’ belief and religious practices, it is time for you to change your religion!