Home > Equality & Religion > Explaining Your Religion to Others

Explaining Your Religion to Others

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 15 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Explaining Explanation Religion Beliefs

Religious discrimination and prejudice are ugly and it shouldn't be your responsibility to explain your religion to others who have made incorrect assumptions or have incorrect information about your beliefs. But, sometimes you may feel that an informal conversation about your religion could set others straight and make your life easier in the long run. If you are interested in explaining your religion to others then make sure that you choose an appropriate venue for such a chat, stay calm and objective during the discussion, focus on basic beliefs as you talk and welcome questions that anyone else might have.

Choose an Appropriate Venue

While it may seem like a good idea to talk about your religion in the setting in which discrimination occurred, it may be that your workplace or educational setting isn't conducive to such discussions. If you have any ideas about explaining your religion at work or school then be sure to explain your plans to your superiors or the relevant authorities and gain their permission before you take your ideas any further. What you envision as an informal discussion others might interpret as your attempt to convert others or otherwise bring inappropriate religious content to what should be a neutral setting. If you can not obtain permission for such a discussion in your preferred setting then consider organising another venue, such as a quiet lunch or drink, which could suit your plans just as well.

Stay Calm and Objective

When you do meet up with others in order to better explain your religion, focus on staying calm and objective throughout the discussion. Don't preach, raise your voice, descend into vulgar or inflammatory language or say that your religion is the only right religion. Also avoid making threatening statements, such as that others will face consequences for their beliefs or for rejecting your beliefs. Not only will staying calm and objective allow you to better reach your audience, but it will better protect you from accusations of aggressive behaviour, threatening comments or otherwise inappropriate overtones.

Focus on Basic Beliefs

As you endeavour to explain your religion to others you will likely want to discuss the beliefs that you hold sacred. Focusing on basic beliefs is important, because if those to whom you are speaking do not understand these basic beliefs then the likelihood that they will ever understand the finer points of more complex belief is greatly reduced. There is, however, a difference between explaining a basic belief and attempting to "sell" this belief to others. Focus on the fact that you believe in this topic by prefacing it with "I believe that..." or "In my religion we believe that..." rather than stating that it is the "correct" belief. If possible, try to boil your religion down only a handful of basic beliefs so that you don't overwhelm your audience all at once.

Welcome Questions

Welcoming questions in an explanation about your religion is the only way to make sure that you can address any questions or concerns that other might have, as well as better correct false assumptions or inaccurate information that others may have picked up from other sources. It may be that others will not want to wait until you have explained something to ask their questions, and at times you may feel as though you are being interrogated. Stay calm and answer questions to the best of your knowledge.

If you have never heard of something, say so and promise to get back to that person after you have investigated the topic. If you a question comes up about something that is incorrect, don't be afraid to say this. As with all things, use tact and maybe even humour to keep a question and answer session from becoming combative and if you feel that someone is attempting to wind you up then either say this and end the conversation or make a concerted effort to stay calm and continue on in a friendly manner.

Explaining your religion to others can be tricky, but it may help you correct some of the falsehoods that others hold about your beliefs or practices. Choosing an appropriate venue, staying calm and objective, focusing on the basic beliefs of your religion and welcoming questions should all help make your explanations more successful.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • mics
    Re: Questionnaire: Experienced Discrimination School?
    hello Good morning my name is Mico john Hernander 17 years old from manila. Im so happy to make comment…
    12 August 2019
  • Lala
    Re: Your Rights in the Workplace
    Senior management.. often scream and shout at the team. Things not investigated before the blame game starts. Staff behaviours…
    13 July 2019
  • Ali
    Re: Your Rights in the Workplace
    I work at M&S Distribution Centre in the East Midlands and only started working there since the beginning of May 2019, previously…
    8 July 2019
  • Jas
    Re: Your Rights in the Workplace
    Hey I have had trouble at my work I had my manger pull down my shorts at work I then put a grievance in about because I wasn’t…
    18 June 2019
  • Jas
    Re: Your Rights in the Workplace
    Hey I have had trouble at my work I had my manger pull down my shorts at work I then put a grievance in about because I wasn’t…
    18 June 2019
  • Jake250
    Re: Your Rights in the Workplace
    Is my boss aloud to swear and shout down the phone at me? He was quite foul and threatened my job , I’ve worked for the company…
    5 June 2019
  • Donna
    Re: Your Rights in the Workplace
    My area manager in my chemist where I work never felt so disgusted in my life and to be treated in that way is just shocking. I'm…
    13 May 2019
  • Coley
    Re: Your Rights in the Workplace
    Are managers legally aloud to scream shout at people making them feel scared and uneasy, and are they allowed to push and pester…
    3 August 2018
  • Mickey
    Re: Confronting Indirect Racism
    Hectoring jus because you have ethnic minorities in your extended family does not make you less racist. Just as much as a man being…
    31 March 2018
  • Nikki84
    Re: Your Rights in the Workplace
    I am a mobile care and support worker my supervisor rang me to ask a question I was polite she was polite 1 minute later my…
    27 February 2018