Oct 7, 2019 in Culture

Barriers to the Diffusion of Religion

Religion is an imperative component of the world cultures. Normally, it is a set of beliefs that characterize people of a certain community and their relationship with their Supreme Power. Since time immemorial, people of diverse backgrounds have been influencing other communities in the manner in which they relate with their Creator. There has been a big antagonism between conventional religious beliefs and the local traditionalists who perpetuate their own primitive religious beliefs. The ease at which conventional religious beliefs can be relayed to other communities is what is popularly known as religious diffusion. Although religion is among the oldest cultures of the world, its diffusion still has numerous huddles that hinder its full spread. A thorough scrutiny of faith issues shows that a number of factors such as language, level education, and misinterpretation of scriptures inhibit the diffusion of religion to certain sections in the society. 

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Factors that Hinder Diffusion of Religion

The first impediment to religious diffusion is often the language barrier. There are numerous languages in the world with some of which being easy to learn and others very difficult. Depending on the colonial powers that may have gained the control of a certain region, the people of that region have learnt the languages of their colonizers. For instance, most religions are spread through lingua franca such as English, French, German, and Spanish among the few others. The rest of the languages are recognized only in a particular region. Since early missionaries were accompanied by the colonial administrators from their home countries, it was obvious that their languages were instrumental in the spread of the religion, which was associated with them. Nonetheless, not all people learnt and mastered those foreign languages. In fact, the areas that resisted the inhabitation of colonialists totally opposed the diffusion of their religion among them. This means that the people of such regions retain their traditional beliefs up to the present day. 

Another issue is the level of education. The communities where diffusion of religion was faster are characterized by rather high literacy level. Illiteracy is a major impediment to the spread of religion because the converts will definitely require learning the values through reading scriptures and writing. Even nowadays, many people especially in the third world countries grapple with illiteracy with some people having completely no knowledge about reading and writing. In such communities, missionaries have found it difficult to diffuse the beliefs of the conventional religions. Therefore, these communities strongly uphold their primitive cultural beliefs and practices, which antagonize the effort of diffusing the universal religions.

Finally, the widespread ecumenical discrepancies have contributed largely to inhibition of religions diffusion. Religions openly contradict each other in a number of ways. These contradictions to some extent caused a lot of confusion among the faithful of those religions causing some of them to backslide in their faith. For instance, there are numerous contradictions between Islam and Christianity especially regarding the role of Jesus Christ. Further differences are also prevalent among the Hindus and Buddhists regarding certain elements of religion. These differences are actually a great impediment to the diffusion of religion in certain regions. 


The widespread turbulence witnessed in the world today is partly a result of the failure of absolute religion diffusion in all parts of the world. All the universal religions convey significant information about the Creator and living pious lives. However, because of the lack of a universal conduit through which these teachings could reach everyone in the society, some people were denied an opportunity to practice conventional beliefs. It has taken missionaries enormous efforts and resources to spread the religious teachings to people from afar but not many succeeded in attaining their prime objectives due to the aforementioned factors. Perhaps it is high time the world worked on the elimination of these setbacks so that the clerics can fulfill their mission of spreading the religious teachings. 

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