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This Article is written by Garima Harsh Intern at Legal Vidhiya of University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun


In the context of this article, “religious law” refers to a body of ethical and moral codes that people from all over the world, belonging to different religious traditions and backgrounds, promote and uphold. Religions that adhere to religious law include Catholicism, whose doctrines are based on the Old Testament. The Islamic law is a form of Hinduism that upholds the teachings of the Dharma, the Vedas, and other sacred texts. Mahayana, Hindu, Jainism, as well as other religions are all included into the syncretistic religion of Sikhism. For adherents, the texts of Jainism give a guide of conduct.

Since India won its independence, hate crimes and other types of intergroup violence have been widespread with freedom. The history of religiously driven violence in India has a detrimental effect on Christians, Sikhs, and Muslims. In the pursuit of authority or influence in either the economy or society, this type of violence is frequently used. In many cases, these occurrences result in violent mob reactions, and occasionally, government officials are actively implicated, either by inciting vigilantism via hate speech or by downplaying the necessity of a thorough investigation into the incidents that occurred.

KEYWORDS; Religious Law, Ethical and Moral Codes, Religious Crime, Developing and Developed Countries.


Religious laws are regulations that are based on a religion’s ethics, rules of conduct, and obligations. Law and religion have always coexisted in harmony. Everyone in India has their own faith, practises a separate religion, and is a member of a different caste. A set of laws determines their level of religious belief. The habits and customs of the diverse communities are always taken into consideration when formulating these guidelines. Indians have complied with these laws ever since the colonial era. India has a constrained system of “personal laws” that are based on religion and community, providing citizens the option to choose between their personal laws and parallel secular laws. Personal laws from various civilizations, including Hindu law, Muslim law, and Christian law, have all undergone differing degrees of codification and revision. It is obvious that law and religion are interwoven, and religion has taken on a significant role in upholding legality in traditional societal structures around the world.


When people refer to “religious rules,” they typically mean the ethical and moral beliefs that each faith instructs its adherents to uphold.

For example, The prophets were responsible for enforcing the laws, which were given by the main deity. The law unearthed in the Old Testament, which is observed by Christians, is an illustration of a religious law. Another example is the law unearthed in the Hindu scriptures and Dharmas, which is observed by Hindus. Another example is the Sharia, which is observed by Muslims. Another example is the Halakha, which is observed by Jews. In actuality, maintaining societal and individual respect is a core tenant of all major world religions.

Many people think it will promote harmony and community in their lives. Given the range of methods that individuals interpret religion, disagreements are unavoidable. Conflicts result from

individual differences in perspective. Hence, it would seem that faith is to responsible for inciting conflict and dividing people across the globe.


The vast majority of people are unaware that terrible crimes are committed daily in the name of religion. Any conduct that either directly or through inference violates the religious freedom of another person or group or that significantly distresses those who practise that faith is considered religious bigotry, a type of hate crime. Violence can take many different forms, and it frequently has a religious rationale.

Examples include hostilities, prejudice, brutality, blaspheme, and other forms of oppression.

Since, atrocities committed in the tradition of faith have been an issue all over the world from the beginning of human history.


There are multiple types of violence, which includes;

  1. Religious war:  This ranks among the worst cases of religious discrimination. Several nations have been ravaged by conflicts brought on by

religious strife. Few examples are the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948, Muslim invasions, Spanish invasions, etc.

  • Gender Violence : Religious violence disproportionately affects women and children. The women are subjected to slavery, rape, kidnapping and other crimes against humanity committed by their oppressors.
  • Insulting Holy Sities : Vandalism of religious structures, such as mosques, temples, and cathedrals, is a common form of violence. This practise is known as insulting sacred places. These Some behaviours incite the most susceptible religious groups to further violence.


Violence driven by religion can have numerous root causes, Let’s discuss a couple of them now.

  1. Communal ideology – Worldviews that are incompatible the main factor behind religious violence. All religions disagree with one another because they hold fundamentally different ideas about what life’s purpose is.
  2. Political organisations: By endorsing a specific religion, governments and political parties encourage religious intolerance. As a result, the country’s religious minorities experience dread and are more inclined to commit crimes.
  3. Improper application of secular values – Many democracies throughout the world have a strong “Secularism” ideology. The first clause of our Secularism is specifically listed in the Indian Constitution as one of the nation’s objectives. When politics interfere, religious law take priority over law, which frequently leads to violence.
  4. Poor crime-handling practises – Inadvertently, this leads to religious violence. Regrettably, the majority of violent crimes committed against religious communities go unpunished or are not even documented.
  5. Religious intolerance – In countries like India, which is renowned for its diversity, it is frequently considered that people of many faiths are tolerant of one another.
  6. Economic interests – There is a significant disparity between the different religions in regards to material well-being. Governments frequently pass laws that have prejudices towards persons of different faiths. As a consequence, tensions between people of different faiths grow and can occasionally even become violent.


It is a widely held belief that violent acts motivated by religion are less common in contemporary countries. It is true that they, like the victims of religious atrocities, are concerned about countries with low development. The country’s Muslim minorities are seriously threatened by the “Islamophobia in the United Kingdom” climate, which is on the rise Mosques being invaded, threatening letters being sent, and the dumping of items related to pork into mosques are just a few of the many hate crimes against Muslims that go unjustified. Muslim women are subjected to abuse and persecution in the faith of Islam. As an example, take the situation of a pregnant lady who suffers extreme abuse to extent in which the baby is lost. Another industrialised country where hate crimes are on the rise is the United States of America. According to statistics, 1 in 5 people hate. Religious motivations were behind crimes. One hundred and thirty-three. The majority of hate crimes, in fact, never even reach the attention of the authorities, thus the FBI’s information on the subject is, at best, scant. Concerns about Islamophobia are raised by the Christchurch terror attack, which left 49 people dead in two mosques. Muslim minorities are becoming concerned. According to a poll conducted by the NSW Police Service, Muslims were the target of the vast majority of hate crimes. These included verbal abuse, graffiti, violence, bias, and more.


India, which is a tremendously diverse country in its own right, immediately comes to mind first. We learn about a violent incident motivated by religion in the news every day. Hindu-Muslim disputes, such as the well-known Babri Mosque incident and the Nirbhaya Train Incident, have greatly influenced India’s current situation. Islamic terrorist groups are also to blame for additional crimes against Kashmiri Pandits, including the destruction of holy sites, the death of large numbers of innocent people, harsh torture, and other atrocities. Similar to this, Islam is the main religion practised in Saudi Arabia. There are societal limitations and widespread hostility against non-Muslims. The open display of non-Islamic religious objects is forbidden, and the government has raided covert house churches. In countries like Syria and Iraq, religious minorities have been the focus of genocide, persecution, assault, sexual assault, and extortion. These killings were carried out by the Islamic terrorist group Daesh, which aims to exterminate the region’s religious minorities. The most fundamental types of prejudice and rights denial may qualify as crimes against religion. In Pakistan, minorities including Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs experience prejudice and even fall under false accusations of making inappropriate remarks. Attacks have been made on worshippers, churches, and Ahmadi mosques. As the majority of Christians in Israel, they desire security. increasing number of hate crimes target. Extremists from both the Jewish and Muslim faiths propagate a hatred of Christians among their adherents using political propaganda. A number of cases of religious prejudice and hate crimes in developing countries have been reported to the council on human rights.

Many people have lost their lives, families, and homes as a wake of these acts of religious violence. So, it’s crucial to take action rather than just considering these horrors, and we must act.

The following are a few approaches that have been suggested to address this problem.

  • To begin with, it’s critical to begin educating children about all the various religions at a young age so that they don’t grow into adults with any particular religion. biases or predetermined views. It is possible to provide higher-level training for police officers so they can better track down and address these offences.
  • Second, all countries ought to embrace secular legal systems. Without respect to their fundamentalism, i.e. Taslima Nasreen, a writer and member of the National Secular Society, contends that India should adopt the Uniform Civil Code, which argues for the removal of private religious norms in favour of a more just legal system.
  • Third, to prevent being replaced by more severe laws, the existing legislation that punishes these religious offences needs to be updated laws. By allowing minority religious organisations to participate in the management of government and public agencies, the laws should work to uphold fundamental human rights and promote diversity.
  • Fourth, it’s crucial that those who have been impacted by these atrocities committed for reasons related to religion have a voice in the legal proceedings against those responsible. This might enhance communication and make it easier for the two camps to reach an agreement. Also, it might lessen conflicts over ideologies.
  • A final point is that civil society organisations and the media may be helpful in the fight against all these kinds of religious crimes.


State religion countries are those that have a single religion that is practised by all citizens of the country. In other words, a religious organisation that has been officially sanctioned by the government for all people of the country to practise their religion.

More than 20% of the countries in the world have a specific (one religion) as their State Religion. The majority of the world’s 43 (22%) countries with a state religion are found in the Middle East and North America, where the Muslim community predominates. Only one out of every five countries has a state religion, with the majority of them being Muslim. 20% of countries have agreed to have a state religion or one faith as their official religion (State Religion). Approximately 13 countries, including nine European countries with Christianity as their state religion, Bhutan and Cambodia, two Buddhist countries with Buddhism as their state religion, Israel, one state religion country with Jewish as their state religion, and no country in the world with Hinduism as their state religion. According to a poll, Christianity is the most popular religion, embraced in 28 of 40 countries. In ten countries around the world, states such as Vietnam, China, North Korea,Pakistan and Cuba, as well as other countries whose states exert tight control over their population’ religious practise.



a) Roman Catholics:

b) Bern

c) Malta

d) Monaco


c) Malta


a) Egypt

b) Afghanistan

c) Kuwait

d) Iran

e) Iraq

f) Malaysia

g) Maldives

h) Pakistan

I) Saudi Arabia


a) Maldives

b) Somalia


a) Bhutan

b) Cambodia

c) Thailand

d) Tibet

e) Sri Lanka

f) Myanmar



Religious laws are those that are based on a certain religion, whereas secular laws are those that are free of any religious influence and regard all religions equally. In today’s world, however, having a secular law is impossible. Those who believe in secularism argue that secular laws are not backed by a single religion, but rather that they should be free of the influence of any religion, and while secular laws are neutral in nature, they are impossible to apply. It is difficult to establish a secular legislation since, in the current environment, the court of justice must rely on religious laws to decide some issues.

The question being debated is whether it is possible to replace religious laws with secular laws. According to author Taslima Nasreen, an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, India should embrace the Universal Civil Code system, which would abolish minorities’ religious personal laws, and no personal law should be founded on a religion, but rather on the concept of equality and justice. This approach should be adopted by all developed and developing countries around the world, not only India. 


The International Convention for the Civil and Political Rights of 1966, the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Convention of 1948 all seek to stop the incitement of violence against any religion. Article 4 of the ICERD states that any religion that asserts its superiority in a way that might lead to animosity amongst all religions in society, against any religious organisation, or towards people of other races, shall be deemed to be guilty of a penal violation. All heads of state vowed in 2005 to protect their citizens against atrocities including genocide, war crimes, crimes motivated by religious hatred, and crimes against humanity.

India was referred to as a “sovereign socialist secular democratic republic” in the preamble of its constitution. The Preamble now includes the word “secular” thanks to the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 It demands that almost all religions be allowed and treated equally. Althoug recognising the freedom to practise, preach, and disseminate any religion, India does not have a recognised state religion. Religion is not taught in schools that are funded by the government. In S. R. Bommai v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India ruled that secularism was a crucial component of the Constitution.


Indian law has a unique past and traditions. The Arthashastra, which was composed around 400 B.C., and the Manusmriti, which was composed  100 A.D.) were regarded. The evolution of social norms and practises as well as the establishment of the legal system in Indian culture have all been heavily influenced by religion. Which religion has the great majority of Indians sworn allegiance? According to All Indian Religion’s 2011 census data, Come from multiple sources comprise 79.80% of the total population. Muslims account for 14.23% of adherents, compared to Christians’ 2.30 percent, Sikhs’ 1.72 percent, Buddhists’ 0.70 percent, Jains’ 0.37 %, and other groups’ 0.66 %. At the highest levels, the Indian government is accepting of all religions. While “secularism” is acknowledged in India’s supreme law, the constitution, everyone is given the freedom to practise their religion as they choose.

Indian law protects people’s religious convictions, but those who abuse this protection suffer criminal consequences. While religion is frequently seen as a vehicle for emancipation, there are significant issues within the religious community that, if not resolved, could result in crimes motivated by religious intolerance.


The main issue facing rising nations is the link between criminal behaviour and religious convictions. Over the past year, the number of crimes tied to religion has soared. The nation is propelled by distorted ideologies in the name of religion, and in several nations, including India, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Iran, and Afghanistan, parties or communities with such ideologies have made electoral system breakthroughs and formed theocratic administrations. This is true even when the country is governed by depraved beliefs. In the 21st century, when electronics both frustrates and entertains us in equal measure. Abortion and unions of identical partners Only a few of the crimes that are increasing are those involving gender, animosity towards religion, mob lynchings, discrimination against those from lower and more disadvantaged strata, and harassment.


Nowadays, the phrase “religion and law” is frequently used to describe the larger area of contemporary life that is purportedly governed by religious freedom safeguards in national constitutions, international treaties, and other legal documents. The Enlightenment’s guarantees of religious freedom in the West have proven insufficient in the face of mounting pressure from both established religious communities and emerging religious movements, some of which are unwilling to accept the legal ramifications of secularisation, to recognise and protect a wider range of religious practises. The universalist presumptions that underlie such laws make it difficult to achieve the widespread calls for modern, secular law to acknowledge (or at least appear to acknowledge) the considerable impact religion has on people and communities.


In today’s world, there is ongoing debate over religion legislation and religious crimes in developed and developing nations. There are governments all over the world that do not allow minority religious groups to practise their religion freely, which is against their fundamental and human rights. Everyone born on this planet has the right to teach their own religion, and no one can prevent them from doing so until they are stopped, degraded, subjected to discrimination, tortured, or, in the worst cases, killed, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There will surely be instances that demonstrate how religious-related crimes will decline as the religious trend rises. Young people appear to be the focus of the majority of religious crimes, which encourages them to kill themselves or engage in other actions that harm not just the victim but also society as a whole. Many crimes against religion and hate crimes would be significantly decreased if individuals are simply taught to respect each other’s faiths from a young age.









Theos: is it possible to have a secular law?


National Secular Society: Challenging the privileges of the religion: India debates on the topic of replacing of the religious laws with the secular laws


20% of the countries have an official state religion


Muslims, Dalits and tribal makes up 53% of all the prisoners in India


Religious, violence, causes and its solutions


10 ways to prevent violence


Number of anti-religion hate crime incidents in the year 2018 by religion


Religion, Crime and Criminal Justice


Effects of religious practice on crime rates



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