So I looked it up in order to find the exact references in the Bible about Christianity and tolerance, and found that the word “tolerance” is not even in the Bible. In fact, there are very few Biblical passages that promote tolerance, in comparison with its many instances of religious intolerance, and most of these passages deal with tolerance by one Christian to another. An overall theme of the bible is religious exclusivity and intolerance. Particularly in the Hebrew Scriptures, it often calls for the oppression of women, followers of other religions, and sexual minorities, as well as genocide and mass murder of “others.”
This information is fascinating because I always thought that religious people were by definition kind and tolerant towards their fellow human beings. I personally think that the fact that the Bible itself doesn’t recognise the positive use of tolerance explains a lot to do with religious problems going on in the world, nowadays and before.
Interestingly, I was brought up to respect other people’s beliefs. When I visited their worship places (churches, temples, mosques…), I was always taught to do so with respect, despite the fact that when I was at school, I was bullied by so-called Christians who gave me a really hard time because they didn’t accept my beliefs. They said I lived like rats do.
My religion? I have none. I am an atheist, and I was brought up to accept, tolerate and respect all religions as well as all others that are different than I am.