When someone pushes religion on you, the best way to respond is in love. It could be your partner, relative, or friend. In almost every society, people are devoted to their religion. Among them, there is a set that nurtures the belief that their religion is the right one and wants everybody around them to conform to their beliefs. But in reality, things are different. So, knowing what to say is important if you find yourself with such people.
The best response should be polite and straightforward because religious topics are sensitive. Avoid offending the other party, even if their approach is offensive.
It is normal to feel uncomfortable around the person, but as Christians, we are instructed to live at peace with all men. However, ensure you set boundaries by stating your Christian belief, changing the subject, or ending the conversation completely.
Understanding Different Perspectives
Mixed religious societies have always had the problem of discrimination against people’s beliefs; to fuel this further, you must try to understand the other party’s perspective. Start by;
Respecting their beliefs
Not everybody is a Christian, which is fine. It is important to acknowledge that some people take religion very seriously, so we have to respect their right to believe whatever religion they believe in, even if we do not agree with them.
If the other party is someone or people you cannot avoid, you can take a step further by learning about them, even if you don’t agree with some of their practices or beliefs. This will help you get a better picture and help you respect their decisions.
What to Say When Someone Pushes Religion on You
Here are some great answers to give if you find yourself in this situation;
I appreciate that you are trying to preach to me, but I am not interested
This is a polite way to turn down their request. This expression will lovingly pass your message. Yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Pet. 3:15)
Please, dear, can we talk about something else?
This is a great way to pass your message if the other party is a loved one. This way, you can pass your message while showing indifference. Calling them ‘dear’ shows you are not offended. This should work. They should get the hint and respect you by changing the topic. But in your heart, honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (1 Pet. 3:15)
I understand you care about me, but I am a Christian and don’t intend to convert anytime soon.
This is another seamless way to pass your message to people trying to force their religion on you. Everyone has their way of worshiping God, so you can tell them that you are a Christian and they should respect your beliefs too. Thank them for caring about you. However, drive home your disinterest in joining a new religion.
Can we not talk about this again?
Most people tend to be persistent if you give room for it, so you need to lay the matter to rest once and for all. Even if you are vocal about not being interested but keep up the act, they will continue persuading you. Ensure you put your foot down and lay the matter to rest once and for all. With this response, they should understand that you don’t want to discuss it again.
Okay, but I am not interested.
This is another polite way to respond to someone trying to force another religion on you. Making them know that you are listening but you won’t convert. This should pass a strong message; hopefully, they will drop the conversation. This respectfully shows that you are not interested.
However, take note of your tone and body language so that you won’t come off as rude. Body gestures pass a message on their own. This response is great for strangers and co-workers.
Okay, let’s watch a movie instead.
When a person tries to force a religion on you, a good way to handle the situation is to change the topic, suggesting both of you watch a movie instead of having the conversation. This clearly shows your disinterest in the conversation. When you do this regularly, they will eventually realize you don’t want to discuss it.
Are you usually this pushy/persuasive?
This is a more firm way of taking a stand. Asking them if they are usually pushy is appropriate and a strong statement to keep people away from their persistent preaching. By asking them this question, you have successfully changed the topic of conversation and simultaneously told them that you are not interested. This can work for colleagues in school or co-workers. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Pet. 5:9)
I am not comfortable anytime you bring up this conversation
This should be a plea to them to stop such conversations once and for all. Outrightly let them know that you are not comfortable with the conversation. When you tell them this, they should stop. You can use this reply on anyone, from loved ones to strangers.
Please, let us not go over this again.
If they have been on your neck and refuse to stop, you can tell them, “Let’s not start this again.” It doesn’t matter whether they are your friend, colleague or family member. This is a great tactic to end the conversation.
Thank you for sharing, but I already have my believe
When someone tries to force their religion on you, there’s a good chance that the individual is narrow-minded and thinks you are on the wrong path. Simply tell the person you already have your belief; hence, they should respect you and not force their beliefs down your throat.
What if we all try to force our beliefs on others?
Finally, my last suggestion is to tell the individual who tries to force their religion on you that they should not force beliefs on others. “If everyone does the same thing, like forcing things on you, how will that sound?” is a perfect question to ask them. This way, they will know it is wrong to force your belief on others. (1 Peter 5:1-3).
When someone tries to force a religion on you, it is understandable if it gets you frustrated or annoyed, especially after you have let them know your stand. The best thing to do is to let them know you are uninterested and do it respectfully while taking a firm stand.