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Religion and Democracy

Every country in the world has one or more religions. Characteristics for religions that support democracy include advocacy for the respect of human life, support for equality and their promotion of integrity, accountability and honesty. They encourage the rule of law. Countries in which Christianity and Buddhism are the dominant religions have minimal cases of terrorist acts targeting innocent citizens in public gatherings and churches. In comparison, Islam dominated countries witness numerous cases of people sacrificing their own lives to commit atrocities. Such acts disregard the need to respect for the rule of law and human life. This is a clear demonstration that some religions support democracy better than others do (Gunning, 2008). The contrary evidence originates from the fact that in most democracies the state and religion are two separate entities. In addition, religious institutions do not enforce democracy. The laws governing a country ensure that democracy prevails.

Research demonstrates that public support for democracy is higher and more integrated into countries with high education levels regardless of the religions that exist within such countries. This supports the hypothesis that religion plays an insignificant role in the determination of democracy in any society. However, some religions hamper the thriving of democracy while others facilitate the implementation of democratic policies within the society. For example, within the Islamic countries, social values such as tolerance and respect for human life and other people’s property have little or no meaning to the Muslims. There are frequent acts of terrorism in which individuals with misadvised convictions hurl explosives in public places and cause deaths or injuries, and destroy property. This introduces difficulties concerning the promotion of democracy in such countries as evident by the monarchies that still rule most of the Islamic countries despite the recent protests and demands for democracy in those countries (Martin, 2011).

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