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Religious rejection of politics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the general topic, see Religion in politics

Religious rejection of politics is a philosophy that can be found in several religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Followers of this philosophy may withdraw from politics for several reasons, including the view that politics is artificial, divisionary, or corrupt.

Several religious groups reject any involvement in politics. Many Taoists have rejected political involvement on the grounds that it is insincere or artificial and a life of contemplation in nature is preferable, while some ascetic schools of Hinduism or Buddhism also reject political involvement for similar reasons.

In Christianity, some groups like Jehovah's Witnesses, the Amish, the Hutterites, and the Exclusive Brethren reject politics on the grounds that they believe Christ's statements about the kingdom not being of the world mean that earthly politics can or should be rejected. Not necessarily all forms of politics are rejected. For example, among the Old Order Amish running for office is not allowed but voting is only discouraged, not forbidden.[1]

Others, like the Baha'is, do not take part in partisan politics. They neither endorse particular candidates, or join political parties. They are told to vote their consciences as individuals. If asked to register they tend to do so as independent.[citation needed]

In other religious systems it can relate to a rejection of nationalism or even the concept of nations. In certain schools of Islamic thinking, nations are a creation of Western imperialism and ultimately all Muslims should be united religiously in the ummah. Therefore, Muslims should be in hijra as nations, in the Western sense, are basically deemed apostate.[citation needed]

There are some aspects of the early days of the radical Takfir wal-Hijra that hint at this. Likewise various Christian denominations reject any involvement in national issues considering it to be a kind of idolatry called statolatry. Most Christians who rejected the idea of nations have associated with the Christian Left. Satmar Hasidic Judaism rejects the state of Israel being created before the return of the Messiah, therefore members of this group refuse to vote in Israel. This group does not reject all politics, but it does reject participation in Israeli politics.[citation needed]

Lastly, some religions do not specifically reject politics per se, but believe existing political systems are so inherently corrupt they must be ignored. In some respects the view of governments as apostate relates to that. In the early stages of the Nation of Islam, for example, many adherents rejected the idea of voting because the US political system was rejected in strong terms. In recent decades, however, this view has declined in popularity among Nation of Islam adherents or been rejected outright.[citation needed]

In the United States, a recent survey indicated that 2% of those who did not register to vote cited religious reasons.[2] The same survey reported that 22% of Americans are not registered to vote.

Religious groups that reject participation in politics

Religion Adherents Largest national membership
Jehovah's Witnesses 8,200,000 United States
Christadelphians 50,000 United Kingdom
Old Order Amish 318,000 United States
Doukhobors 3,000 Canada
Rastafarians 600,000 Jamaica
Bahá'í Faith 6,000,000 India
Shaykhiya 100,000 Iraq

See also

References

  1. ^ Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and Steven M. Nolt: The Amish, Baltimore, 2013, pages 361-362.
  2. ^ Pew Survey

External links

This page was last edited on 3 December 2019, at 00:43
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