Stop Religious Shunning: Freedom of Religion = Freedom to Leave a Religion

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Religious shunning is quite simply a form of religious persecution. We need to raise awareness of the social and economic costs of large and small religious sects who shun and defame those who leave the fold. They may raise a child knowing nothing but that religion, fearing the outside, and forbidding higher education or certain aspects of medical care. Once grown, they may throw him or her out on their own with nowhere to go if he or she does not want the religion, or has nagging doubts about it. Mandating that if parents talk to their grown children who are now “apostates” that they too will be thrown out (a social death penalty and in their mind a literal one fearing Armageddon) is a common theme that needs to end. Shunning one spouse who no longer believes in the faith results in the eventual deterioration of the family unit. This splits the family apart. It is all too common, and it must stop. These sects who hold people or entire families captive out of a fear of loss of all the people they've ever known, thus staying in a group they did not choose on their own are depriving their followers of personal liberty. It is the exact opposite of freedom of religion. This is what we need to change.



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