The world holds many different religions. The exact number of religions is difficult to determine. Some estimate as many as 4,000 religions exist. About 85 percent of people on this planet identify with one of them. The vast majority follow either Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism.*
Throughout history, religion is one of many ways people made value judgements. Ancient Jews viewed Gentiles as inferior. Christians were persecuted by Jews and pagan Romans. Muslims attacked all non-Muslims. Christians crusaded against Muslims. Catholics and Protestants fought against each other. Even today, religion is used to hate and persecute others.
Religion does not make any of us more valuable than the next. We are all created in the image of God. Christ died for everyone. In fact, the message about Jesus makes no distinction between people, even their religious identities. Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (NIV)
By mentioning Jews and Gentiles, Paul covered everyone. God’s salvation is available to everyone, regardless of their heritage or current religion. All have equal access to faith in Jesus. Today, remember to treat everyone as equal in value.
*Mary Fairchild, “How Many Religions Are There in the World?” Learn Religions, March 22, 2021, https://www.learnreligions.com/how-many-religions-are-there-in-the-world-5114658
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