Religious rejection of politics

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Religious rejection of politics is a philosophy that can be found in a life of contemplation of nature. Adherents to this way of life find it preferable, while some ascetic schools of Hinduism or Buddhism also reject political involvement for different reasons.


In Christianity, some groups like Jehovah's Witnesses, the Christadelphians, the Amish, the Hutterites, and the Exclusive Brethren reject politics on the grounds: Christ's statements about His kingdom not belonging to this world means that earthly politics can or must be rejected. Not necessarily all forms of politics are rejected. For example, among the Old Order Amish, running for office is not allowed but voting is only discouraged, not forbidden.[1]

Others, like those of the Baháʼí Faith, do not take part in partisan politics. They neither endorse particular candidates, or join political parties. They are told to vote their consciences as individuals. If asked to register they tend to do so as independent.[citation needed]

In other religious systems it can relate to a rejection of nationalism or even the concept of nations. In certain schools of Islamic thinking, nations are a creation of Western imperialism and ultimately all Muslims should be united religiously in the ummah. Therefore, Muslims should be in hijra as nations, in the Western sense, are basically deemed apostate.[citation needed]

There are some aspects of the early days of the radical Takfir wal-Hijra that hint at this. Likewise various Christian denominations reject any involvement in national issues considering it to be a kind of idolatry called statolatry. Most Christians who rejected the idea of nations have associated with the Christian Left. Satmar Hasidic Judaism rejects the state of Israel being created before the return of the Messiah, therefore members of this group refuse to vote in Israel. This group does not reject all politics, but it does reject participation in Israeli politics.[citation needed]

Lastly, some religions do not specifically reject politics per se, but believe existing political systems are so inherently corrupt they must be ignored. In some respects the view of governments as apostate relates to that. In the early stages of the Nation of Islam, for example, many adherents rejected the idea of voting because the US political system was rejected in strong terms. In recent decades, however, this view has declined in popularity among Nation of Islam adherents or been rejected outright.[citation needed] In Hellenism, voting in elections deemed 'non-democratic' is not permitted and namely affects believers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia.[citation needed]

In the United States, a 2006 survey indicated that 2% of those who did not register to vote cited religious reasons.[2] The same survey reported that 22% of voting-age Americans are not registered to vote, meaning that 0.4% of all voting-age Americans did not register to vote for religious reasons.[2]

Religious groups that reject participation in politics[edit]

Religion Adherents Largest national
Jehovah's Witnesses 8,200,000 United States
Baháʼí Faith 6,000,000 India
Rastafarians 600,000 Jamaica
Old Order Amish 318,000 United States
Hellenism 120,000 Greece
Shaykhiya 100,000 Iraq
Christadelphians 50,000 Australia
Exclusive Brethren 40,000 Australia
Doukhobors 3,000 Canada
Purist Salafis Saudi Arabia

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kraybill, Donald B.; Johnson-Weiner, Karen M.; Nolt, Steven M. (2013). The Amish. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 361–362. ISBN 978-1-4214-0914-6. Retrieved 2018-08-10 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b Morin, Richard, ed. (2006-10-18). Who Votes, Who Doesn't, and Why (PDF). Pew Research Center and Associated Press (Report). Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2020-10-16.

External links[edit]


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