I Like Religious People

I just have to talk about this. 🙂 Both Ghana and Indonesia are full of religious people. Both consist of diverse religious beliefs, and in both cases the people manage to co-exist peacefully. (There are some minority groups fighting each other though… I am not going to lie about it, and again, such fights happen in both countries).  Have I mentioned that Ghana consist of the most devout Christians community I have ever seen? Well, for this particular reason, I like Ghana. 🙂 I like religious people regardless what religion.

OmkarI am not a life guru to speak about what life is in general. But based on my experience of travelling and meeting people, those who are religious (or honestly believe in the existence of God), are the most peaceful, kind, serene, and tolerant people I have ever met.

Religious people (or believers) have a certain aura about them. Calm. Content. Worry less. Have a steady view of life. And believe it or not, they are just happier people (compared to their nonbelievers counterpart). I personally have been bugged by nonbelievers (or atheists) about my faith and religion, and never have the same problem coming from fellow religious people even when they belong to a totally different faith.

Islam symbolWhen I was still working for Siemens, my 3 favourite close friends were Catholic, Protestant, and Hindu. The Catholic always reminded me to go to prayer if I was still at my computer at 4 pm, the same way I always let her borrow my motorbike to go to her church every evening and I always made sure my motorbike would always be available. I never ate beef when I was out dining with the Hindu girl, and the same way they would try not to eat pork when they’re eating with me. The reason being: Respect. Now in Ghana, most of my friends are Buddhist, although some are Christians.  We have been extremely tolerant, I am very proud with how things are going in my life.

Well, the thing with us -religious people- is… we simply accept that we are different. Not worse, not better, just different. And yet our mutual beliefs of God seem to bind us somewhat.

And then there is the atheist side of life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind atheists at all. As much as I want people to respect my faith, I respect the atheists for not having any. But there are 2 types of atheists that I have encountered in my life. The first type is the kind of atheists who simply don’t believe in the existence of God, but let other people have their faith. The second type is the kind of atheists who not only disbelieve, but also pester other people as to why they believe in God to the extent of ‘boohooing’ them.

CrossTo share a bit more… when I lived in the ‘western countries’ (won’t name them), when I told people that I am religious and sincerely believe in the existence of God, the most common reactions I got were: a frown, raised eye brows, a “why?”, a bemused look, and an awkward silence (often followed by a fierce argument that religion is the sole reason this world is totally f*cked up). It’s never an easy “oh ok, we understand” situation. It is a lot easier to say I am a Muslim to a Christian, than to say I believe in God to a nonbeliever.

The modern world -usually from the advance western countries- are the least religious places as we speak (yeah… yeah… I know that we can find both atheists and religious people anywhere in the world). >>But why is it that the poor are those who would normally be religious? I’m still searching for an answer to that. >>Is it true that the religiousness of a country prevent the people from advancing properly? Maybe. >>Is it true that religions can’t work side by side with the modern way of life? Probable. >>But why do we need to advance to a certain level that is defined by others anyway? The aborigines don’t need to be dressed up or to learn the Internet. They were happy exactly as they were. >>Is it wrong to just be happy with what we currently have and progress slowly (if anything at all)?  No.

This whole thing begs for the question: Is ambition a virtue anyway? Now that question, my friends… still causes my husband and I to have heated debates to this date… 😀

Dian Retno Wulandari. Religious and proud.

PS: Please remember that the crusades were more about the leaders and their politics, and less about the religions.


4 responses to “I Like Religious People

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and your perspective after interacting with so many different faiths. I grew up in Texas as a very devout Christian with many friends who were Muslim. I have a very profound respect for the religion due to the girls I knew growing up and learning of their values. This article was a wonderful perspective to that concept of respecting each other’s differing religious views.
    I went to a school that was owned by my church, and loved how science, math, history–every modern and ancient concept was taught with the perspective of faith and religion. In fact, a friend of mine who studied there, then transferred to a government-owned school that could not have religion in the classroom, said the religious school was more open and tolerant of new ideas then the secular school, who openly rejected any idea that could be tied to religious beliefs. Personally, I think progress and religion can go hand in hand. Like you pointed out, the down falls of religion usually don’t come because of religion itself, but because of greed and power being masked as religion.

  2. i’ve been thinking about this for quite a while, but haven’t really found someone who I can discuss it openly in Indonesia. Because soon as I mention that religion seems to stunt people/country’s growth, people here will look at me strange if not attacking me. Indonesian politics is one example, everytime there is someone advancing in general election that does not meet “religion or race” quality, most probably would not win. If we continue like this, Indonesian will never advancing anywhere because the issue never moved to better subject such as dealing with poverty, simply stuck at religion, religion and religion.

  3. Dear Ulan
    What an interesting life you have! I am just saying farewell to a lovely Ghanain lady who has been studying in the UK for the past year. I met her when she attended one of our Christian meetings in Ironbridge, Telford. She requested a Bible Study and I have been privileged to be able to study with her for the past 9 mo ths. A beautiful people. I am hosting a farewell party for her fhis weekend and came upon your site whilst looking for tips.
    Your thoughts about religious life are fascinating and it stirred me to share the origin of my faith with you, should you ever wish to get a scriptural answer to lifes perplexing issues. Visit jw.org and gain access to a wealth of Bible knowledge, alternatively, take advantage of the next visit to your door of a Jehovah’s Witness. I send my thanks for your insight into life and my hope that you will find tfue peace. Very kindest regards. Carrol Kelly

  4. Hello from Bogor. Thanks Mbak Ulan. I really enjoyed reading your perspective on this. It’s been wandering at the back of my mind. You said it beautifully.

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